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July 17—Average hospital costs increased by 2 percent annually over a recent nine-year period, and that trend is expected to continue, according to a new federal analysis.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reported Thursday that hospital costs from 2003 through 2011 increased by an annual average of 2 percent, and they were projected to increase at about the same rate through 2013. Hospital costs in that timeframe grew fastest for the maternal and neonatal (2.5 percent), surgical (2.4 percent), and injury (2.2 percent) care.
The analysis also found that the 37.4 million total hospital discharges in 2003 remained relatively stable during the period, and they were projected to decrease slightly (0.5 percent annually) through 2013.
Additionally, four of the five hospital service lines experienced relatively little change in discharges, while mental health discharges grew at 1.9 percent per year. Mental health discharges were expected to continue increasing by 1.4 percent annually through 2013.
The analysis also found that the average length of stay, which remained relatively stable in the study period, was projected to decrease somewhat through 2013. The 4.8-day average length of a hospital stay in 2003 was projected to decrease to 4.6 days in 2013.
Four of the five hospital service lines—medical, surgical, injury, and mental health—experienced a slight decrease in length of stay, while the maternal and neonatal service line increased average length of stay from 3.0 days to 3.2 days in 2011.
Publication Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
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