Micro-hospital aims for share of Penn. surgical market

A Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm will open a $35 million, 35-bed micro-hospital called Clio Health, shown above in mock-ups, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Image: Aspire Ventures

Providers in eastern Pennsylvania are worried that the opening of a new for-profit micro-hospital will siphon patients away from community hospitals for lucrative surgical procedures.

Clio Health, an affiliate of Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm Aspire Ventures, broke ground on its new 144,000-square foot micro-hospital In August 2006 and the facility is expected to open later this year. The facility will feature four operating rooms and more than 20 physicians in a variety of practices who are dedicated to innovating care delivery, the organization announced last year. 

The $35 million, 35-bed facility will offer a range of surgeries, including cosmetic, orthopedic and general procedures, according to an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Procedures like these are often the most lucrative for hospitals and organizations can funnel those funds to less cost-effective areas like mental health. That's why hospitals and physicians in the region will watch Clio closely to see if the new facility will result in a negative impact to their bottom lines, according to the article.

David Simons, an anesthesiologist and president of the Lancaster City & County Medical Society, told the publication that some doctors see opportunity in the new model. Most micro-hospitals operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and usually have 8-10 inpatient beds for observation and short-stays. The model truly exploded onto the industry scene last year, and are considered effective alternatives to urgent care centers. 

Clio is planning a robust expansion initiative over the next several years, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, with intentions to open four more facilities across Pennsylvania by 2019.