New Micro Clinics Sweeping the Country

New Micro Clinics Sweeping the Country, by Ben B. Boothe

(Ben Boothe's company BBAR Inc. Appraisals, has appraised over 300 hospitals and clinics nationally. Boothe has served on the board of governors for the L.A. Shriner Children's Hospital for two years). 

The Shriners' Children Hospitals took the breath away from hospital industry leaders when they announced that they see a future of mini-hospitals, not giant 400-bed facilities. Then they devoted money and years to building a new children's "clinic" facility in Pasadena, California, to take the place of the historic Shriner Hospital in Los Angeles. "The Shriners observed large hospitals with large numbers of empty beds, because the industry, technology, medical practice, and cost have changed the role of hospitals. Most patients now are converted to out patients and do not require extended hospital stays," said Ben Boothe, former member of the board of governors of the LA Children's Hospital. So now, Shriners are keeping their 22 full-service hospitals but gradually are building more clinics around the country, near or adjacent to big hospitals, "so that we don't have to spend millions on MRIs or expensive surgery centers in duplication of expense. We simply make a rental or partnership deal with the big boys, and it is good for everyone," said Boothe. 

"So instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars, many health care organizations are moving toward smaller 'mini hospitals or clinics' that are fully accredited and licensed around the nation. We also see a need for small, mini hospitals, or tele-medicine facilities in remote areas, such as seen in the American West. 

"This approach is more convenient to patients, less costly and provides quicker on-the-spot diagnosis and medical attention," said Boothe. 


 Why Micro Hospitals? (more details)

Brett Justice, senior VP of strategy and system development for the Mt. Carmel Health System, tells about the first micro-hospital in Central Ohio with Fairfield Medical Center. "These smaller facilities allow heath systems to provide more services to a community, in the community, than a freestanding emergency room, urgent care or other ambulatory-oriented venue of care," he said.

Just a few advantages: 

1.  They offer convenience, cost savings and ability to provide advanced care. The micro-hospital may be the next big thing.

2. Insurance and cost factors suggest briefer hospital stays by patients, and more outpatient services simply make more sense.

3.  Medicare, medicaid, federal and state reimbursement agencies are all pressing for smaller fees.

4. Cost to build: A small clinic hospital from 10,000 - 30,000 square feet might cost $7 - 30 million to build instead of spending $100 -500 million to build a large, traditional hospital.

5. With eight beds, a small clinic hospital may be able to serve 60 patients per day and provide overnight stays for eight patients if required.

6. Why travel long distances to get to a big hospital, when you might just drive up and walk into a fully-licensed micro-hospital in your area nearby?  Outpatient service throughout the nation has grown 10 times faster than inpatient visits requiring admission to a large hospital.

Dr. Robert Pretzlaff of Dignity Health in Nevada said, "Micro-hospitals, or neighborhood hospitals offer emergency beds, a few overnight stays and are small and lean and get down to essential needs." 




When we do an appraisal or an environmental compliance report, we often consider the efficiency and ability of the staff to provide good service. Smaller facilities are simply easier to maintain and operate.

(BootheGlobalPerspectives Home Page attributes some source material to Cardinal Health. Some of the experts quoted in this article were taken from an internet report in 2017.)