More Hospital Closed Due to Empty Beds as Providers Succeed in Reducing Hospital Admissions: Pathologists Should Respond with Outpatient/Outreach Services

With patient care shifting to outpatient clinics and home-based medical care, clinical laboratory managers should beef up outreach lab testing services

Declining patient volume is shuttering hospitals across the United States as hospitals lose patients to ambulatory care centers and home-based medical care. This trend directly impacts the pathologists and medical technologists who work in the clinical laboratories of these hospitals.

Empty Beds Indicator of Failing Hospitals

Most pathologists are unaware that, between 2008 and 2013, nearly 130 community hospitals closed. That left 4,974 hospitals operating in the United States, according to American Hospital Association (AHA) 2015 Hospital Statistics, which are based on data from the 2013 AHA Annual Survey.

It is no surprise that below-average occupancy rates are a common denominator of most failed hospital, noted the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). The 14 hospitals that closed in 2013 had an average occupancy rate of 34%. This is lower than the 48% average occupancy rate of the hospital nearest to the closing hospital, MedPAC stated in its March 2015 report to Congress. (more…)