Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing, as patients seek more affordable medical care at clinics and outpatient surgery centers. A low occupancy rate makes for a high-priced facility, which is not competitive. These closures are due to the boom in high deductible insurance policies, better technology, and shrinking reimbursement rates. Hospital admissions and lengths of stay have been falling for years, shifting to outpatient care. Over 27 hospitals closed last year due to the flat or declining volume for inpatient care. Small, independent hospitals are most vulnerable to financial stress, and about half of the hospitals that closed last year had an average of 60 beds. Hospitals are trying to generate income from their vacant space, signing leases to hospice providers or hotel operators. The age of hospital buildings is rising and construction has dropped sharply. Funding is now moving toward surgery centers, hiring new primary care physicians, and improving technology. Patients and insurers are looking for new ways to get better care at lower costs. Patients with high-deductible insurance policies make up 20% of all employer-provided health plans, and they are shopping around to save money on their medical care. MediBid partners patients looking for affordable health care with clinics, surgery centers, and hospitals around the country and the globe.
Evans, Melanie. “Hospitals face closures as ‘a new day in healthcare’ dawns.” Hospitals. Modern Healthcare, 21 Feb 2015. Web. 24 Feb 2015.