How hospital outpatient visits have grown since the '70s

Hospital admissions are trending downward or staying stagnant, while outpatient visits are growing, according to Merritt Hawkins' 2019 physician inpatient/outpatient revenue survey.

Merritt Hawkins emailed a survey to 3,000 hospital CFOs and other financial managers across the U.S. from October 2018 to December 2018.

Hospital CFOs and financial managers reported the combined net inpatient and outpatient revenue generated by a full-time equivalent physician employed by the hospital or in independent practice.

Primary care physicians determined revenue from direct hospital admissions, lab tests and procedures performed. The survey was completed by 62 respondents, representing 93 hospitals. The numbers below were collected from the 2017 American Hospital Association annual survey of hospitals.

A yearly breakdown of hospital admissions numbers in thousands:

2015:
All hospital admissions: 34,879
Hospital outpatient visits: 802,680

2014:
All hospital admissions: 35,416
Hospital outpatient visits: 787,422

2013:
All hospital admissions: 36,156
Hospital outpatient visits: 777,961

2010:
All hospital admissions: 36,915
Hospital outpatient visits: 750,408

2000:
All hospital admissions: 34,891
Hospital outpatient visits: 592,673

1990:
All hospital admissions: 33,774
Hospital outpatient visits: 368,184

1980:
All hospital admissions: 38,892
Hospital outpatient visits: 262,951

1975:
All hospital admissions: 36,157
Hospital outpatient visits: 254,844

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