Hospitals are cutting service lines. Here's why it's a win for independent practices.

Hospitals nationwide have begun to cut service lines in an effort to save money or address staffing concerns. This phenomenon opens the door for independent practices to show why they too are a necessity in their communities.

Marcelo Hochman, MD, a plastic surgeon from the Facial Surgery Center in Mount Pleasant, S.C., spoke with Becker's to discuss the opportunity that exists for independent practices when hospitals cut service lines. 

"As hospitals basically make decisions that are purely based on the financial and administrative brain, they may decide, and I'm just making this up, but they say that they're not going to do any more labor and delivery in this particular hospital because it's not financially feasible for them," Dr. Hochman said. "Well, if those other alternatives don't exist, that's a problem, right? Because all those LMDs are going to go to the other hospital. But now that we have gotten rid of the certificate-of-need, independent practices and independent facilities can take advantage of the fact that the hospitals over extended their reach. They don't do things as well in the outpatient setting [compared to] services provided by independent physicians or facilities. So there's a real opportunity in our state now to fill the gap that is left by the hospitals cutting out service lines."

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