Dr. Pines and Dr. David Ernst, President and Chief Medical Officer of EPOWERdoc, discuss the freestanding emergency center care model in relation to the crisis.
Over the past several decades, rural hospitals have closed at alarming rates. A 2016 study identified over 650 rural hospitals vulnerable to closure in 42 states with 38 percent of 1,332 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) operating at a financial loss.
Freestanding Emergency Centers (FECs) present a practical solution to this crisis. While rural communities may have insufficient demands for inpatient care to support a full hospital, FECs have a lower cost structure and higher patient volume.