That's according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which looked at 14.4 million hospital visits across 28 states in 2012. More than half of these visits (53.1%) took place in a hospital-owned ambulatory surgery setting. And nearly half of the 19 million surgeries associated with these visits occurred in an outpatient environment.
Inpatient procedures do still slightly outrank outpatient procedures, but the gap is narrowing. And in some cases, outpatient use far outranks that of inpatient. The difference, perhaps not surprisingly, largely depends on the affected body system. There is a far greater chance that cardiovascular surgery will require an inpatient stay. But for surgery on the skin, a patient can almost always expect to have it performed in an ambulatory setting.
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