'Microhospitals' Can Provide Quicker Access to Care

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'Microhospitals' Can Provide Quicker Access to Care
'Microhospitals' Can Provide Quicker Access to Care

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some health care systems are opening tiny hospitals which provide comprehensive emergency services but may have fewer than a dozen inpatient beds, according to a report published by Kaiser Health News.

The microhospitals are providing patients with quicker access to emergency care, while offering other services as well, including outpatient surgery and primary care. They are usually affiliated with larger health care systems, and are primarily being developed in a few states.

Small hospitals with strong outpatient services have the potential to assist individuals who live far from major metropolitan areas. Microhospitals are similar to standalone emergency departments which have developed in recent years in fast-growing metropolitan areas and can handle many emergencies. However, unlike standalone emergency departments, microhospitals are fully licensed hospitals with inpatient beds to accommodate patients admitted from the emergency department. They may also have other capabilities, including surgical suites, labor and delivery rooms, and primary care or specialist services.

"Right now they seem to be popping up in large urban and suburban metro areas," said Priya Bathija, J.D., senior associate director for policy development at the American Hospital Association, according to Kaiser Health News. "We really think they have the potential to help in vulnerable communities that have a lack of access."

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