News: Inpatient volume expected to grow 2% in 10 years, report says
A new report from Sg2 utilized patient-level data and local market trends to forecast patient volumes over the next decade. Notably, while hospital inpatient volume is set to recover to pre-pandemic levels, it is only expected to grow 2% past that. Hospital inpatient days will increase at an 8% growth rate, however, and tertiary patient days at 17%, due to an expected increase in chronic conditions.
"While case mix varies by hospital, it is likely this combination of increased inpatient volume, patient complexity and length of stay may require healthcare organizations to rethink service line prioritization, service distribution and investment in care at-home initiatives," Maddie McDowell, MD, FAAP, senior principal and medical director of quality and strategy for Sg2, said in the news release for the report.
On the outpatient side of things, volumes are expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and grow 16% in the next 10 years, Becker’s Hospital Review reported. The aging population, increased survivorship, and the rise in chronic disease are main factors contributing to this growth. Outpatient surgeries are also projected to grow 25% at ambulatory surgery centers and 18% at hospital outpatient departments and physician offices.
Last, Sg2 affirmed other reports that telehealth has staying power, and is set to resume a climb in usage despite levels declining slightly since the height of the pandemic. In 10 years, the report estimated that telehealth will account for 27% of all evaluation and management visits. Home care will likewise increase, seeing a 19% growth in home evaluation and management visits, a 13% growth in home hospice, and a 10% growth in physical and occupational therapy at home.