The healthcare sector in the U.S. could be set for a major change in the coming years due to the rising prominence of local ‘micro-hospitals’. Facilities smaller than major hospitals but serving a regular figure of primarily local patients are termed as micro-hospitals. The number of such small-scale facilities has been on a constant rise in the U.S. in recent years, due to the rising number of patients in rural areas. Rural patients can sometimes suffer from the lack of local hospitals, as visiting larger hospitals can lead to long lines.
On an average, the smaller scale of micro-hospitals allows them to hold up to ten beds designed for short stays. However, many acute and emergency services can be provided even at this scale, which has been the key factor in the growing number of micro-hospitals.
Timely Rise of Micro-hospitals Welcomed by Healthcare Officials
Health officials in the U.S. have also welcomed the entry of micro-hospitals on to the national healthcare scenario. The healthcare sector in the U.S. is in the midst of significant change at present, with the new administration’s healthcare reform act being protested by a significant majority. The rise of the micro-hospitals has thus provided a steadying force to the volatile healthcare sector. The critical gap between the urban and rural communities and the effects of the same on the pricing dynamics of the overall healthcare sector could also be resolved though the steady development of micro-hospitals as a key middle layer in the healthcare distribution pyramid.
Customizability of Micro-hospitals can become a Double-edged Sword
Due to the small scale of micro-hospitals, they can often be modified to suit the needs of a particular region. However, this can also have adverse consequences, as it can lead to substandard service. Several critics of micro-hospitals have pointed out their lack of a consistent standard of care as a key drawback of the sector. Nevertheless, the rising government support could go a long way in resolving that issue, allowing micro-hospitals to carry out a key role in the country’s healthcare sector in the coming years.