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Hospital hotels to save beds/costs

PATIENTS could be transferred to “hospital hotels” after treatment as part of a three-year trial to reduce the length and cost of medical stays.

MPs voted in favour of a test as an alternative for people who would benefit from an extra day or two near hospital but do not need full medical supervision.

The aim is to cut costs to the social security system: a hotel bedroom can cost about €60 a day, but a hospital bed €1,500.

MPs think it could reduce the length of hospital stays, lower transport costs and improve patients’ overall experience.

The plan is part of the 2015 social security budget, which had yet to go to a final vote as Connexion went to press.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said there is pressure to make more use of day-care, and that these hôtels hospitaliers could help those who live far away or who have nobody to collect them.

Patients who live far away are often kept in hospital for longer for surveillance than those who live nearby.

The hotels could also benefit women at risk of giving birth prematurely, who could stay near hospital, said Socialist MP Olivier Véran, who put forward the idea.
Such facilities already exist in Toulouse and Paris and reduce unnecessary hospitalisations.

The MPs want an evaluation at the end of the trial with a view to a nationwide roll-out. The private sector may be used to run the hotels, which would be on hospital premises, or nearby.

Finances Hospitalières, a newsletter for the hospital sector, says the hotels would be ideal to complement specialist services like ophthalmology which have a lot of day-care patients, “allowing for them to be looked after better, when they’re often elderly and coming from near and far”.

So far the idea has not taken off due to uncertainty over who should pay for the patients’ stay in the hospital-hotel, it says, adding: “Until now health authorities and mutuelles have refused.

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