Hospital wellness and fitness centers enhance outpatient care

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rewarding better health and disease prevention, hospitals are boosting health and wellness efforts by providing more outpatient services and opening fitness centers, reported NJ Spotlight.

Recognizing the switch from only taking care of sick people to keeping the population healthy, New Jersey hospitals are making health and wellness centers part of outpatient services. The Robert Wood Johnson healthcare system in New Brunkswick, Virtua in South Jersey, CentraState in Freehold and University Medical Center of Princeton all run several health and fitness centers throughout the state.

"The revenue won't be as large, but you will have the diversification of products on the outpatient side to support the future," Virtue CEO Richard Miller told the newspaper.

By offering health and wellness centers, these hospitals not only will improve population health but also gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, according to experts at the American College of Healthcare Executives' annual congress in March. In the first year alone, Medical Center Health System in Texas gained 1,836 members to its medically integrated facility, as well as nearly $200,000 in revenue rather than the expected losses, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Competition is heating up for healthcare organizations looking to move into the wellness business as wellness-fitness networks are adding their own healthcare services, reported the New Hampshire Union Leader. For example, urgent care center Express Med will open at a fitness center next month and will charge a single flat fee instead of separate doctor and facility fees charged at Elliot Health System's urgent care centers.

To learn more:
- read the NJ Spotlight article
- here's the Union Leader article