Data Sample: 2-Year Change in Discharges

Equivalent discharges™, our replacement measure for “adjusted discharges,” continues to gain acceptance as the new standard for volume measurement as it isn’t influenced by pricing changes and calculates a volume value specific to inpatient and outpatient areas.  The latest research shows that positive growth occurred in all but three states/territories (HI, MD, PR).  The national average has continued to increase, as well; climbing from 1.5% growth in our 2015 study to 5.8% in our current study.  Our top five states are primarily in the West, which as a region saw the highest growth.  Metro areas among the top five appear to be among areas that have seen population growth.  Still, while volume growth could be good economically for hospitals with fee-for-service reimbursement, areas that have been able to contain equivalent discharge growth might be better positioned in value-based structures.  If payment moves in that direction, we could see more emphasis on restricting volume growth.

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