The most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics make official what many of us have suspected for a long time. Overnight hospital stays are increasingly rare.
In a 10 year period (between 1996 and 2006), outpatient surgery visits grew from half to two-thirds of all surgeries. The data further indicates that while outpatient surgery visits at hospitals changed little in those 10 years, visits to freestanding clinics tripled.
The most frequent outpatient procedures performed, on an annual basis, include:
- Endoscopy — large intestine — 5.8 million visits
- Endoscopy — small intestine — 3.5 million visits
- Lens extraction for cataract surgery — 3.1 million visits
As the population ages and the federal government moves toward some form of nationalized health care, pressures on costs will increase. The dramatic shift from in-patient to outpatient surgery is one key indicator of a new trend. Health care providers that prove they can operate efficiently will be rewarded both by consumers and insurers.
Remind your hospital and freestanding clinic clients that a new marketing campaign will keep their services top-of-mind when consumers consider where to take their outpatient surgical care business.[Source: U.S. Outpatient Surgeries on the Rise, CDC, January 2009 release]