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DOH Outlines New Care Delivery Models

March 02, 2022

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) today highlighted three new health care delivery models available to hospitals in Pennsylvania.

The initiative aims to increase access to safe, high-quality care in areas that would otherwise be medically underserved, especially in rural communities, Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said during a media briefing today.

“The primary purpose of these innovative delivery models is to provide options, to help preserve and increase access to safe, high-quality care in areas that would otherwise be medically underserved,” Klinepeter said. She said the models would help to maintain emergency care and “minimize financial burdens, while still meeting the needs of the community.”

The three models are:

  • Outpatient emergency department:  An outpatient location of a hospital that offers only emergency services and is not located on the grounds of the main licensed hospital
  • Tele-emergency department:  An emergency department in an acute care or critical access hospital staffed by advance practice providers 24 hours a day. The facility has access to physicians through telehealth
  • Micro-hospital:  An acute care hospital that offers emergency services and has at least 10 inpatient beds. This facility has narrow scope of inpatient, acute care services, but may not offer surgical services

Klinepeter said rural hospitals will be the focus of tele-emergency and outpatient emergency department models. Any hospital that is eligible and follows specific guidelines could take advantage of the micro-hospital model. The three delivery models are subjected to eligibility criteria related to patient volume, geographic location, and minimum staffing and services.

During the event, Tom Bisignani, CFO and interim CEO of Regional Hospital of Scranton, outlined the recent transition of Tyler Memorial Hospital from an inpatient care hospital to a 24-hour emergency department with outpatient services. He said the transition has been successful to maintain services for the local community.

“Operating the ER as a campus of Regional Hospital of Scranton, it allows Tyler to remain open without inpatient beds,” Bisignani said.

The DOH today provided guidance to facilities interested in these new delivery models.

For more information, contact Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president, population health and clinical affairs; Jennifer Jordan, vice president, regulatory advocacy; or Kate Slatt, vice president, innovative payment and care delivery.