Dimensions CEO predicts few stand-alone hospitals will survive

Hospital corridor.

The chief executive of a healthcare system in the District of Columbia area believes that stand-alone hospitals may soon be an endangered species.

“If you read what is happening in healthcare you will see that single hospitals are not surviving anymore because of the changes in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement and other industry dynamics,” Neil Moore, CEO of the two-hospital Dimensions Healthcare Systems in Maryland's Prince George's County, told The Washington Post. “I would not be surprised if we are headed to an oligopoly of hospitals where there is no longer a sprinkling of little hospitals across the country but large healthcare institutions.”

Moore's system itself has had to restructure significantly to face that uncertain future. It plans to convert one of its hospitals, Laurel Regional Medical Center, into an ambulatory care facility. It is also in the midst of affiliating with the much larger University of Maryland Medical System. Currently, Dimensions is losing as much as $20 million a year.

Maryland hospitals already operate in a more constrained fiscal environment than any other state. The state's regulators tightly control payments made to hospitals. In fact, Maryland is currently in a demonstration project where global budgets for payments involve every private hospital statewide.

That kind of transaction is likely to speed up in 2016 and the coming years, some healthcare experts predicted at the start of this year. There is some debate as to whether such mergers improve the care being delivered.

- read The Washington Post article