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Micro Hospitals - How These Small Facilities Are Changing Healthcare

Agnus Smith Published: June 14, 2018 Updated: March 08, 2018

micro hospital beds

Health care is a contentious issue. One issue with health care is that it is expensive. Another issue is that the requirements to become a doctor seem endless. Once doctors have earned their degree and have gained experience in their concentration, they can look forward to a hectic work environment. The consequences of these issues are that the population of doctors is decreasing, but an increase in the number of micro facilities is increasing.

What Exactly Is A Micro Hospital?

A micro hospital is similar to larger hospitals and medical facilities, just on a smaller scale. Micro hospitals are intended to serve the needs of small and rural communities and towns that may not have the resources or means to support large medical facility. 

Characteristics Of A Micro Hospital

A micro hospital is distinguished from larger hospitals by its size. While small, it is equipped to treat the same patients and offer the same quality of healthcare as larger hospitals. Other characteristics are that patients will receive more attention from doctors, and typically at a lower cost.

Why Micro Hospitals Are Becoming More Popular

Micro facilities are popular because they are easier to establish, there is not a gargantuan startup cost, and patients get a more personalized visit. Lastly, they are typically located in smaller neighborhoods and can match the demands of the area. This allows patients to have quicker access to care.

Micro Hospitals Vs. Freestanding Emergency Rooms/Urgent Care

Micro facilities offer unique advantages over emergency facilities. For one, urgent care facilities are not equipped to serve any patient that walks through the door. The percentage of transferred patients in urgent care is very high. Micro facilities have a very low percentage of transferred patients because they are equipped with imaging and laboratories. They can also administer on-site beds to patients. Lastly, out-of-pocket costs are lower than that of emergency rooms located in larger hospitals because the operating cost is lower.

When You Should Go To A Micro Hospital

You should go to a micro hospital for any health reason. As discussed above, they offer high-quality healthcare experiences at a lower cost. You should go to a micro hospital if you require quick and personalized in-patient care. They also offer outpatient services that are comparable to larger hospitals.

How Much Do Medical Services Cost?

Medical services at a larger hospital can break the bank because operating costs are so high. At a micro hospital, operating costs are much lower. As well, the individualized experience combined with the ability to perform minimally invasive surgeries means that patients will be able to decrease time spent at the hospital and therefore lower costs.

Do Micro Hospitals Accept Traditional Health Insurance

Part of the reason why micro facilities are intriguing is that they offer services that compete with larger hospitals, and one of those utilities is insurance. They accept all of the same health insurance policies as larger hospitals.

Is The Quality Of Care The Same As Larger Hospitals?

Patients can expect to receive the same quality care as compared to bigger hospitals. Micro hospitals can offer cheaper, high-quality treatment that bigger hospitals will charge an arm and a leg to provide. However, some micro facilities are unable to support patients requiring special treatment. In the case of special treatment, micro facilities can recommend specialists at more equipped hospitals. However, even larger hospitals will recommend another provider if it is in the best interest of the patient.

Micro Hospital Regulations

Micro hospital regulations serve as quality assurance. For example, Wills Eye Hospital, a micro hospital located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, did not pass micro hospital regulations tests. It fits the definition of a hospital according to Pennsylvania but did not pass micro hospital regulations according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Wills Eye Hospital only had four beds and primarily served its patients with outpatient care.

Benefits Of Micro Hospitals

The benefits are numerous. They are fully equipped with similar labs, diagnostic tools, and imaging instrumentation as larger hospitals. Patients get more personalized attention from doctors who have access to the same state of the art tools and instruments. In economic terms, they are able to be established with lower startup costs and can expand quicker.

Drawbacks Of Micro Hospitals

Since a typical micro hospital is small in size, it is impractical to outfit them with enough doctors and instruments to diagnose and heal any ailment. This is not a drawback of micro hospital regulations, but a drawback of all hospitals in general.

Micro hospitals are increasing throughout lower and middle-class neighborhoods because they can provide quality health care more efficiently. Despite being smaller in size, they provide quality healthcare under strict micro hospital regulations.