In the News: Feb 22–Mar 1

$18 Billion Urgent Care Industry Expected to Grow in 2018

A recent Forbes article highlights Merchant Medicine and Urgent Care Association of America reports stating the urgent care industry, with more than 7,000 urgent care centers nationwide, is expected to grow 5.8% in 2018. The authors cite provider movement toward value-based care and emerging partnerships, such as the recent urgent care partnership with MedExpress and Walgreens, as drivers of urgent care industry revenue and center growth.

As the number of urgent care centers continues to grow, and certain markets become more competitive, Sg2 believes providers will need to explore new ways to differentiate urgent care services. To learn more about select specialty urgent care services to consider, read the Sg2 Expert Insight, Specialty Urgent Care: What’s the Best Option for Your Market?

Greater Midwife Integration Tied to Better Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes

A recent PLOS ONE study examined the association between state integration of midwives and maternal and neonatal outcomes by developing a scoring system to assess midwife integration level and regional access to high-quality maternal care—the higher the integration level, the higher the score.

States with higher scores were associated with substantially higher rates of spontaneous vaginal delivery and breastfeeding, as well as lower rates of cesarean birth, preterm birth and neonatal death, suggesting state regulations that support increasing midwife integration into health systems could improve maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Sg2 believes deploying a certified nurse midwife (CNM) workforce may be a viable strategy, as hospitals aim to drive down c-section rates and look to differentiate their obstetrics programs in markets where patients are increasingly looking for high-touch care. To learn more about how health systems are deploying CNMs, read the Sg2 FAQ, Leveraging Certified Nurse Midwives in Obstetrics.

Microhospitals Still Gain Favor Amid Shift to Ambulatory Care

A recent Modern Healthcare article highlights how some health systems are looking to microhospitals for inpatient services, as care continues to be delivered in cheaper and more convenient patient settings. Microhospitals tend to have fewer inpatient beds to make room for lower-acuity patients and often offer an array of complementary ambulatory services. Given the changing ambulatory landscape, microhospitals have been touted as an access channel, as well as a way to increase ambulatory market presence.

Microhospitals are still a relatively new concept, with many unknowns regarding the model’s financial viability and strategic value. Sg2 believes there are several factors health systems must carefully consider before deciding to develop a microhospital, such as payer mix, community needs and regulatory restrictions. To learn about the ideal market for a microhospital, check out the Sg2 FAQ, Microhospitals as an Emerging Market Growth Strategy.

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