Hospital Management and In/Out-patient Care

Studies of hospital admissions throughout the country reveal an on-going decline which started in 2009. The changes have been small but steady. For instance, there were almost 36.2 million admissions in 2012 according to the American Hospital Association. By 2013, this fell to about 35.4 million which translates to a drop of 2%. The outpatient figures, meanwhile, show the opposite trend. This type of visit to the hospitals actually increased in the same time period to over 787 million for a rise of 1.2%. This might seem like a small percentage but the large base means that the number of people affected is nontrivial.

If we look at a broader time span, then the changes appear to be truly startling. The number of outpatient observation stays increased by 96% from 2006 to 2013. In other words, visits nearly doubled in a period of six years. A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report released in 2015 supports these findings. This Med Pac paper says that the use of outpatient services increased by 33% over the past seven years. Various events and activities are being suggested as the reason for this clear shift.

The Cleveland Clinic Health System also published its own study on the matter. They focused on the number of inpatient admissions for an 11-hospital network and found a 3.25% fall in 2014. They had 40,186 visits in 2013 which dropped to 38.880 the following year. The opposite happened on the outpatient side of things in the health system. They observed a 14.15% increase during the exact same period.

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