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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or in Lee Memorial Health System’s version, when life gives you a denial for your hospital building plans, then plan a hospital without beds.
The Fort Myers, FL-based health system recently got turned down by state regulators for its plan to build an 80-bed hospital in Estero, FL. Another hospital system has opposed the plans, according to Naples Florida Weekly.
Undeterred, the hospital went to its second choice: a new ambulatory care model at the same location. The new system doesn’t need state approval. The health system leaders described it in the published report as a “one destination health-care center” and “like a super mall of healthcare services” across the continuum of care. The facility will offer care for medical intervention and wellness, they say, and thus it will be much different that a typical outpatient clinic or surgery center.
Other healthcare organizations are making similar moves. Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville, TN, is transforming into an urgent care facility this summer and will no longer offer inpatient and emergency department services. In a news report, the parent company cited the fact that the hospital had fewer than 250 admissions in 2013. Also, Mid-Valley Hospital in Peckville, PA, will stop inpatient and emergency department services this summer and will convert to a walk-in clinic, according to a news report. The number of admissions had fallen to fewer than 500 in 2013, and ED visits were 25 or fewer a day.
We applaud these healthcare organizations for facing these serious challenges and being undeterred in their efforts to meet the needs of patients and employees. Now pass me a glass of lemonade.