WellSpan Health partnered with Emerus to build three small neighborhood hospitals in central Pennsylvania, where it has been expanding its facilities.
The York, Pennsylvania-based system, which has eight hospitals across the state, plans to build the three facilities in Cumberland and York counties with Emerus, a micro-hospital provider that will operate and staff the facilities. Micro-hospitals, which typically offer low acuity emergency and inpatient care and outpatient services, feature a smaller footprint than typical hospitals.
WellSpan is in the midst of a $255 million expansion of its York hospital, including a new, eight-story surgical and critical care tower. The project is slated to be completed in 2025.
“These neighborhood hospitals will absolutely be synergistic with the work we are doing at our larger hospital,” said Dr. Anthony Aquilina, chief physician executive at WellSpan. “This will be part of our healthcare continuum plugging access gaps in emergency care.”
Health systems in Pennsylvania may continue to add to their core inpatient markets organically or through acquisitions as their competitors grow. Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente’s proposed last month to acquire Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger. While the WellSpan-Emerus partnership has been in the works for about a year, the Kaiser-Geisinger transaction is expected to speed up hospital merger and acquisition activity among Pennsylvania health systems.
WellSpan and Emerus plan to start construction by the end of the year and potentially open the facilities by the end of 2024. The organizations said the micro-hospitals will feature up to 10 inpatient beds. Specific locations and service offerings are being finalized.
WellSpan reported $28.7 million of operating income on $1.82 billion of revenue through the six months ended Dec. 31, according to its unaudited financial statement. That was down from $134.2 million of operating income on $1.79 billion of revenue through the same period in 2021.