“Emergency Hospitals” are a good way to balance cost of care versus quality and availability of care while adding value to the community. Understanding how these facilities differ from urgent care facilities is key to understanding the gaps they fill AND the parties they benefit.

First, some background:

  • It’s no secret that it costs a hospital a LOT more money to see a patient in a hospital emergency room setting than in an off-campus facility. One Atlanta hospital CEO quoted a 10-to-1 cost difference in 2011.

  • It’s also no secret that new urgent care facilities are opening pretty regularly. On a good note (to a hospital), these facilities handle many of the issues that clog ER’s, offer lower reimbursements, and don’t require hospital admission. On a bad note (to a hospital), the hospital loses control because it’s tough for the hospital to influence whether they or competing hospital get the hospital-bound patient.

Baptist Health System in San Antonio Texas has made good use of the Emergency Hospital concept… for a full write-up on what they’re doing, click here. The article discusses how they’re approaching it and does a great job of describing the differences between an Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care facility.

Written by GHS member John Cobb. John specializes in healthcare and technology tenant/buyer representation. His personal blog is

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