Hospitals Can Demonstrate Value by Looking Beyond Their Walls
November 23, 2016 | Physician Practice News
As the industry moves toward value-based payment systems, financial success for hospitals will increasingly depend on what happens outside their walls, according to a November 1, 2016, article in HealthLeaders Media. Nonacute care, such as primary care, is becoming the focus of investment for organizations who until recently "saw anything outside the hospital environment as peripheral," the article said. Total inpatient days in community hospitals dropped from 207,000 in 1994 to 180,000 in 2014 according to American Hospital Association data cited by the article. During the same period, outpatient visits increased from 382,000 to 693,000. The article cited the case of a Louisiana medical center that closed one of its hospitals that was losing money. Four of five patients being treated in the hospital's emergency department (ED) could have been better treated in a nonacute setting, according to the hospital's former chief executive officer (CEO). Closing the ED was "difficult politically," but "a no-brainer both for patient care and for financial reasons," the CEO said.