Impending Death of Hospitals

Honey, I Shrunk the Hospital!

Have you heard the jokes about the incredible shrinking hospital in Decatur, Alabama?

Sure, they’re funny. But the reality isn’t a joke to hospitals. Instead, it’s just another interesting detour along the way to what that I’ve described as The Impending Death of Hospitals. If you haven’t yet read my book by that title, follow the link to download your complimentary copy, or visit Amazon to buy yours in print.

The future of healthcare doesn’t include hospitals as we know them today. Cases, care, and observation that can be performed or provided outside of the hospital will be provided “hospital free.” As technology advances the pace of the shift from hospitals to ASCs and other outpatient facilities, and to care at home, will advance, too. And, as it does, we’ll be saying “See ya later” to more and more hospitals.

I’ve written about hospitals closing. I’ve written about a 865-bed hospital being torn down to be replaced with a 70-bed facility.

And now, we have the incredible shrinking hospital.

According to a January 8, 2017, article by Evan Belanger of The Decatur Daily, Decatur Morgan Hospital is chopping off the top three floors of its five story south tower.

The hospital’s CEO is quoted as saying that the hospital’s haircut is part of their “right sizing” efforts. The soon to be missing three floors housed 100 patient beds, to be replaced with 35 beds in another area of the facility.

Perhaps their next facility will be bedless?

But then it will just be an ASC, which is my whole point: As hospitals become more like ASCs and other outpatient facilities, physician owned non-hospital ventures can become more like hospitals.

Brick and mortar doesn’t change thinking. Thinking changes brick and mortar. And, creates opportunities.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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Focus on the Future

The Future of Hospital Care Isn’t in Hospitals. It’s Outside of Them.

New York City’s Mount Sinai Health System gets it. Will you?

As I’ve written over the past year (see my most recent book, The Impending Death of Hospitals — get your complimentary copy, here) the future of healthcare doesn’t include hospitals as we know them. Surgical cases will move to outpatient facilities and, if you’re a surgeon or an anesthesiologist/CRNA, you’d better prepare for that future now.

Witness Mount Sinai’s decision, announced late in May 2016, to plow under its 865-bed Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital and replace it with a 70-bed facility.

And, just last week, it was reported that Mount Sinai’s Mobile Acute Care Team program, which delivers hospital-quality home care to patients at risk for readmission, has reduced readmissions, increased patient satisfaction, and cut costs by almost 20%.

Technology and innovative care are beginning to replace in-office physician care, in-hospital surgery, and in-hospital patient care. Sooner or later, hospitals will be small institutions for the most ill and, perhaps, the most indigent. Or, they will be parking lots.

As with any instance of creative destruction, the bad news for hospitals is good news for physicians and entrepreneurs willing to take the risk to play an oversized role in the future of healthcare.

Patients aren’t going away. It’s the locus of care that is changing. Be there or be square.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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Who Asked the Patient if She Wants a Hospitalist?

Sally hired Beth, the most sought after wedding planner in Centerville to coordinate her wedding at the Community House, a high-end hotel.  Beth planned the flowers, the menu and every other aspect of the ceremony and reception. You see, Sally had hired Beth for her expertise; the Community House was just the place, a nice place, where the event would occur.

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