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August 10, 2015 (Cleveland)

Report Examines Rise in Hospital Volume



Key Indicators LoginAccording to The Center for Health Affairs most recent Key Indicators Report on hospital market trends, the first quarter of 2015 demonstrated a steady rise in hospital volume for Northeast Ohio providers. Increasing the most in comparison to the previous year’s quarter was on-campus emergency department visits and on-campus emergency department admissions, which rose 7.31 percent and 6.83 percent, respectively. Also rising were the number of hospital outpatient surgical cases, which increased by 2,450 cases, or 4.3 percent.

In addition to the rise in hospital volume, the data revealed another Northeast Ohio volume trend: a spike in observation patients in the month of March. Since flu season is typically winding down by March, other factors are likely contributing to this phenomenon. When asked, member hospital administrators put forth several theories which speculate why this trend continues to be seen year after year, including: pent-up demand for healthcare services due to the long, harsh winters in Northeast Ohio; acute asthma attacks triggered during peak allergy season; and post-RAC audit adjustments made to avoid penalization for inpatient admissions judged by CMS to be improper.

Along with the rise in hospital volume and the spike in observation rates during the month of March, the report compares volume statistics from other categories as well. Compared to the first quarter of 2014, during the first quarter of this year, hospitals in Northeast Ohio saw across-the-board increases, including:

  • Total patient days increased 4.09 percent
  • Total patient discharges increased 2.32 percent
  • Inpatient surgical cases increased by 1.66 percent

The Key Indicators Report provides analysis of the hospital market based on Volume Statistics data. For more information on the rise in hospital volume or the spike in observation rates, please contact George Jeney at 216.255.3666 or via email.

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