Affordable Care Act has hospitals rethinking location strategies

Affordable Care Act has hospitals rethinking location strategies

Even before the Affordable Care Act and the debate in Tallahassee over Medicaid expansion, Holy Cross Hospital had already charted its course.

“Health care needs to change and change quickly,” said Mark Dissette, senior vice president at Holy Cross. “And whether you like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is requiring [the industry] to change.”

To meet those emerging needs, Holy Cross is opening a new 7,965 square-foot Urgent Care and Diagnostic Imaging Center at 1115 S. Federal Highway in the Rio Vista community of Fort Lauderdale. Its doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week so that patients with fractures, sprains, burns and common illnesses such as cold and flu can receive care and forego expensive emergency-room visits.

The expansion, according to Dissette, is all about “getting out into the community with easily accessible communty-based care.”

A 559-bed Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Holy Cross is not alone in trying to broaden its reach. Cleveland Clinic Florida has said it will open a new practice in Palm Beach Gardens in April or May, and it recently expanded its Weston emergency room.

With its goal of extending quality coverage to the currently uninsured while driving down costs at the same time, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is changing health care industry. And while it offers incentives for health care providers willing to drive out inefficiencies in exchange for greater profits, the law also puts pressure on hospitals to upgrade their technologies and facilities to compete in the new, emerging marketplace.

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