'Old-school' hospitals will lose patients to outpatient centers, analyst says: 4 insights


Portland-based MaineHealth and Brewer, Maine-based Northern Light Health could lose patients to freestanding facilities moving into the area, Franklin Trust Ratings Managing Director John Morrow told the Bangor Daily News.

Four insights:

1. Downeast Surgery Center opened April 17 in Bangor, Maine, giving patients a new option for same-day knee, hip and shoulder replacements. Multiple vision care centers have also opened nearby, Mr. Morrow said.

2. Freestanding facilities are attractive to patients because they offer low costs, specialization and intimate care, according to Mr. Morrow. CMS has driven patients to outpatient facilities because they can charge less for procedures than hospitals do.

3. Technological advancements have made it possible for independent surgeons to perform an increasing number of cases in outpatient settings.

4. If freestanding surgical providers were to capture 80 percent of volume in all 50 of the largest healthcare markets in the U.S. — which already happened in some markets — hospitals would lose an estimated $24 billion. Consumers, employers and payers would save about $10.5 billion.

"This [trend] is going to pose a big problem for these old-school hospital systems who are behind the times and are aggregating bricks and mortar," Mr. Morrow said to the Bangor Daily News. "They're going to lose patients to a better, faster, cheaper way of getting care."

More articles on orthopedics:
Orthopedic surgeons lead center dedicated to avoiding invasive surgeries
Hudson Regional Hospital launches orthopedic institute to keep patients local — 3 highlights
HCA's Metropolitan Methodist Hospital honors 58-year-old surgeon killed by SUV 

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