Get a new body part and go home the same day: the rise of the ‘bedless hospital’

metrohealth_brecksville_16-1024x576Get in, get a new knee, go home.

As treatments get less invasive and recovery times shrink, a new kind of hospital is cropping up — the “bedless hospital.”

They have all the capabilities of traditional hospitals: operating rooms, infusion suites, and even emergency rooms and helipads. What they don’t have is overnight space.

“It reduces cost, and it reduces the risk of infection,” said Dr. Akram Boutros, CEO of MetroHealth System, which just opened a $48 million bedless hospital near Cleveland that he expects will serve about 3,000 people in the first year. “People go home to a less-risky environment, where they tend to get better faster.”

The growth in outpatient healthcare is a fundamental shift in US medicine. MetroHealth, which gets part of its funding from taxpayers and serves a large Medicaid population, has expanded outpatient visits from 850,000 to 1.2 million in the last four years, a 40 percent increase.

By Casey Ross | STAT

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