The Shift Towards Outpatient Care

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May 22nd, 2013

Hospitals and health systems predict a significant shift from inpatient care to outpatient care settings in 2013 and beyond as our healthcare system transitions to new care delivery and payment models.

The Premier Healthcare Alliance conducted their Spring 2013 Economic Outlook survey, in which 69 percent of 530 respondents predicted outpatient volume to increase in 2013. Only 35 percent predicted an increase in inpatient volume, down 30 percent from just the year before.  Survey respondents who believe that inpatient volume will instead decrease this year, rose 28 percent from the response in 2012.  About a third of survey respondents said this trend is mostly tied to healthcare legislation and mandates. In fact, nearly half of survey respondents, 48%, cited reimbursement cuts as having the greatest impact on their organizations, up 5 percent from last year and 10 percent from 6 months ago.  Premier COO Mike Alkire stated, “With reimbursement cuts and changes in care delivery threatening today’s status quo, healthcare providers face a significant change imperative as they transition toward more accountable, value-based care models. “ and went on to say, “…This means more care is being shifted to less intensive and expensive outpatient care sites, with lower reimbursement rates.”

Additional survey details and results from Premier can be found here online. Premier Healthcare Alliance is the nation’s largest performance improvement alliance using collaboration and technology to lead the transformation to coordinated, high-quality and cost-effective care.

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