Micro-hospitals are the next big thing in health care

At least three community-based health care centers are planned in Northeast Wisconsin
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 6:10 PM CST
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BELLEVUE, Wis. (WBAY) - People in our area will soon have a few more options when it comes to their health care. Small, community-based hospitals are planned in Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and just outside Green Bay.

In the village of Bellevue, crews are laying the groundwork for one of those micro-hospitals. When it opens, it’s set to offer care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The hospitals of the future are going to be going to meet the patients where the care is needed,” Tom Arquilla, chief strategy officer for ThedaCare, said.

Crews are turning a Bellevue parking lot at 2465 Monroe Rd., neighboring a McDonald’s and a Costco, into what some are calling a micro-hospital. It’s one of at least three planned for Northeast Wisconsin.

“It’s really kind of the cutting edge. It’s a way for people to get access to needed care -- needed services -- that’s convenient and close to home,” Arquilla said.

Texas-based Nutex Health is behind the development in Bellevue. An administrator for the village says the building is set to offer emergency services, but that’s not all.

“It’s still a hospital. They have other beds for scheduled plans -- imaging, other MRI pieces, general care of other individuals who need support,” Benjamin Krumenauer said.

As we reported before, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services reported 75% of pediatric hospital beds in the U.S. were full in October.

Krumenauer is grateful people in Bellevue will soon have another place to get care.

“Every bed, every facility, every option that residents have is only a benefit for everybody. In this case, additional beds, more ER space can help our community and the greater area for it,” the village administrator said.

Fond du Lac and Oshkosh will join Bellevue with their own community-focused health campuses. ThedaCare and Froedert Health are teaming up to make them a reality.

“These are really high quality, very conveniently located care that really can prevent patients and families from having to travel or wait long times to be seen,” Froedert Health executive vice president Mark Behl said.

ThedaCare says people living on Oshkosh’s east side will be less than a 15-minute drive to an emergency room.

“You have at times long wait times. You have complex campuses that patients have to navigate through. These are an opportunity for us to bring care closer to where people live and work,” Behn said.

ThedaCare’s chief strategy officer thinks we’ll be seeing more small hospitals popping up in the future.