Analysts in health care don’t agree in unanimity very often, but most seem to agree that there will continue to be a quantum shift in healthcare from inpatient to outpatient. In this two part series, we will attempt to quantify and support this important trend. We utilized the Beds and Utilization Interactive, which leverages numerous reporting metrics from the AHA Annual Survey Database™ over a five year period. 

 

We superimposed inpatient days over outpatient visits over five years. Inpatient days has declined 3.2% while outpatient visits have increased 10.2% over the same time period. The most recent year available, the 2015 survey shows that outpatient visits made its largest annual gain yet of 4.2% while inpatient eaked out a small positive change for the first time in three years. The viz below shows these changes over the five year period.