Overnight Status for Outpatients in MD Raises Safety Concerns

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 10, 2014

"And how likely are these places to accept uninsured and Medicaid patients, as hospitals do? Not likely. Will they "cherry pick" the patients who have coverage, leaving the others for the rest of the state's consumers to pay for through our unique system of paying for hospital care in Maryland, which ensures that all get the hospital care they need whether they can pay or not?"

"In short, a hospital is a hospital. If these places want to be hospitals, they should go through the regulatory process, open an emergency department, have 24-hour professional health care provider coverage, and do all the other things that ensure care is available for everyone who needs it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Gross says he's not overly concerned about what hospitals think of the idea.

"I don't think the hospitals have anything to say about it. This is Medicare law. This is CMS regulation," he says. "As the technology has changed, there is so much more shifting out of the hospital and so much more we can do on an outpatient basis."

"This is procedure driven. Anyone having a particular procedure, we would plan on having them overnight. It does not change the profile of our patients. They are still healthy patients. The people who would have issues that would keep them in the hospital, we don't want them."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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