KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospitals In Tennessee, Oregon Invest In New Growth

News outlets report on the hospital markets in Tennessee and Oregon.

The Tennessean: "Nashville-area hospitals are adding more services closer to where people live, hoping to attract better-paying, commercially insured patients - as well as provide basic care and medical tests in settings that don't require an overnight stay. After taking a pause on construction amid a slower economy, hospitals here are once again starting to invest in outpatient services - often in suburban settings - to bring medical tests and minor surgeries to the places where many people live. … The outpatient boom is part of a national trend. In the past two years, hospital outpatient care has accounted for the most growth in health-care spending for the typical American family of four, according to actuarial consulting firm Milliman. From 2009 to 2010, it rose to 17.1 percent of total costs, outpacing growth in other categories such as inpatient care, physician services and prescription drugs" (Ward, 11/7).

The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard, on new hospital construction in Oregon: "Some time next spring, the [Coos] Bay Area Hospital will break ground on a 98,000-square-foot expansion project, with a four-story building that will sit next to the existing 200,000-square-foot facility. It's a move that will offer patients more privacy and a one-stop shop for outpatient care, even if it doesn't mean more doctors or hospital beds. When the county's largest employer announces a $39 million expansion in an area with a 13.2 percent unemployment rate, the 90 construction jobs it will generate are badly needed." In addition, "[t]he Coquille Valley Hospital broke ground on a $24.7 million facility late about two weeks ago, which is an upgrade to its current building along with the addition of a new three-story structure that will accommodate 16 new patient beds" (Ross, 11/7).

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