Hospital outpatient visits drop for 1st time in 35 years — 4 insights

ASCs and urgent care clinics are eating away at hospitals' bottom lines, as this is the first year hospital-based outpatient department visits have dropped in 35 years, according to American Hospital Association data reported on by Dark Daily.

AHA surveyed 6,146 hospitals in the U.S.

What you should know:

1. HOPD counts last fell in 1983. AHA attributed the decline to decreased emergency room visits.

2. In 2018, hospitals reported 879.6 million outpatient visits, down from 880.5 million outpatient visits in 2017.

3. AHA said the trend shows that "patients are increasingly gravitating toward the countless disruptors that tout more convenient, cheaper options for primary care, urgent care, and even emergency care."

4. The revenue gap between inpatient and outpatient visits also shrunk. In 2017, hospitals reported $494 billion in outpatient revenue to $508 billion in inpatient revenue, meaning outpatient revenue was 97 percent of inpatient revenue. In 2018, that percentage fell to 95 percent.

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