Micro-hospitals are small scale inpatient facilities with eight to 15 beds and in an area of 15,000 to 60,000 square feet on an average. Micro-hospitals operate in metropolitan area, within range of 20–25 miles of large scale hospitals. They have large operation area and scale of operation as compared to ambulatory centers and emergency care centers. Micro-hospital offers various services such as emergency services, pathology lab services, pharmacy, and imaging services. Some of these also provide primary care and dietary services or surgical services.
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Low investment cost and high accessibility to healthcare facilities are major factors driving growth of the micro-hospitals market
Micro-hospitals are gaining significant traction as these are targeting service gaps in ambulatory centers and free standing emergency rooms such as inability to provide short term in patient stay. Also, it has edge over large scale hospitals in few parameters such as low capital investment, lesser time associated with construction of micro-hospitals than large scale hospitals, which is propelling growth of micro-hospitals market. Micro-hospitals offer patient-centric care, convenience (In terms of number of services it offers), and fast access to facilities, as the number of patients are low in these.
Some large scale hospitals may not be able to provide same quality of care or facilities, due to large volume of patient inflow, in turn driving growth of the micro-hospitals market. Micro-hospitals require similar licensing and has to adhere to regulations similar to large scale hospitals, which makes them eligible for medical reimbursement. However, micro-hospitals lack advanced facilities, which are required for certain complicated surgeries or emergencies, which is major factor hindering growth of the market. Micro-hospital concept is still emerging and slower penetration of micro-hospitals due to slower adoption rate is resulting in slow growth of market.
The U.S. is expected to account for largest share in the global micro-hospitals market over the forecast period
The U.S. is expected to account for major share in global micro-hospitals market, over the forecast period, owing to increasing joint ventures between companies to open micro-hospitals in economy due to increasing adoption of micro-hospitals by large scale hospital chains. For instance, in December 2017, Allegheny Health Network announced plans to build four micro-hospitals in Pittsburgh, U.S. through partnership with Emerus (largest micro-hospital operator in the U.S.) by end of 2019.
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Also, increasing per capita expenditure on healthcare ion the market is expected to be another factor for growth of the market in the country. According to OECD, 2017 report, the U.S. has highest per capita health expenditure of around US$ 10,000 globally and amongst all OECD countries. Reimbursement benefits at micro-hospitals owing to plans such as affordable care act is also, expected to aid in increasing adoption of these. According Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017, around 90% people in U.S. have insurance coverage and thus, are potential users of micro-hospitals. Aroud19 states in the U.S. have micro-hospitals, therefore, further expansion in others states is expected to propel growth of the micro-hospitals market over the forecast period.
Key players are focused on setting up new micro-hospitals in various regions to expand its geographic presence. Furthermore, they are focusing on joint ventures and partnership strategies, in order to expand their market share. For instance, in 2017, Mercy Health, Franciscan Health, Dignity Health, and Christus Health announced plans to open new micro hospitals in across the U.S. Also, in May 2017, Emerus and Memorial Hermann Health System entered into joint venture agreement to open new micro-hospitals in different regions of U.S. Key players operating in the micro-hospitals market include Emerus Hospitals, SCL Health, Baylor Scott & White Saint Luke’s Health System, Dignity Health, Baylor Health Care System, and Christus Health.
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