In a sign that the hospital industry may have already purged most of its excess capacity, the pace of hospital closures slowed in 2001, according to data compiled by Modern Healthcare.
Thirty-five hospitals closed during the year, compared with 44 that shut down in 2000, the first year Modern Healthcare published a year-end list of closures. (For this year's complete list, see pages 32 and 33.) According to data from HHS' inspector general's office, hospital closures numbered 64 in 1999, the highest number since 1989. Last year, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas had the most closures, with three apiece. Of the total, 24 were private not-for-profit facilities, six were operated by local governments, and five were investor-owned.
For the first time, Modern Healthcare is publishing a year-end list of hospital openings. Although many new facilities were announced or started construction in 2001, the list of new facilities includes only the 14 that began treating patients during the calendar year. Replacement facilities were not counted.
Two of the newly opened hospitals, in New Mexico and Washington state, are publicly owned, indicating that local governments continue to play a role in meeting market demand in some areas, despite closures or sales of many public hospitals in recent years.
In another significant trend, at least five of the new hospitals-Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, Wis.; Deaconess Women's Hospital, Newburgh, Ind.; Dupont Hospital, Fort Wayne, Ind.; El Paso (Texas) Specialty Hospital; and Heart Hospital of South Dakota, Sioux Falls-are at least partly owned by physicians.
Only general acute-care hospitals are included in the lists, which were compiled from Modern Healthcare reporting, state hospital associations and other sources. Information was confirmed by the hospitals whenever possible, with some data supplied by the AHA Guide and other sources.