The number of inpatient hospital days may drop by one-third by the end of the decade because of cost pressures and increased managed care, a new study indicates.
By 1999, inpatient hospital days may drop 34%, while discharges could decline 25% from 32.5 million to 24.2 million nationwide, the Evanston, Ill.-based Sachs Group said in its study, Health Care 1999: a National Bellwether.
"These services are shifting to the outpatient side, moving to subacute settings or going away altogether," said Ann Mond Johnson, senior vice president of Sachs Group.
To get its results, Sachs studied inpatient utilizations for a group-model HMO in California because of the state's intense managed-care market.
In the Northeast, inpatient days could drop 49%, compared with a 7% drop in the West, according to the study.