Health Finance News has a great list of reasons for the decline in hospital inpatient volumes and most of these are indicative of what we will also see in the future. Hospital administration has entered a whole new world and its leaders will need to be truly innovative and creative in order to survive.
The decrease in "face time" with our patients also reinforces the need to engage and support them outside of the hospital walls. Yet another reason we will see Health IT, telehealth and emerging technologies like portals, mobile, social and more taking on a more significant role in care processes.
1. Elective admissions dropped during recession and have been slow to recover.
2. Health reform brought pressure on hospital readmissions and also avoidable admissions.
3. The growth of observation status.
4. The long-term continuing movement towards outpatient models of care with less use of beds overall.
5. Hospital shifts towards fee-for-value away from fee-for-service - building clinically integrated networks and care models.
6. The growth of technology, particularly when it comes to imaging, surgery and anesthesia.
7. An ongoing birth rate decline.