KFF: Trends & predictions in 2020 hospital admissions

Total hospital admissions dropped to 68.6 percent of predicted admissions during a week in April, according to an analysis published Oct. 19 by the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

The analysis is based on electronic medical record data from Verona, Wis.-based Epic Health Research Network and includes all inpatient hospital admission volume from Dec. 31, 2017, to Aug. 8, 2020. Data are pooled from 27 U.S. healthcare organizations, representing 162 hospitals across 21 states. Predicted volume was calculated using historical data from Dec. 31, 2017 to Jan. 25, 2020.  

Five key survey findings:

1. Total hospital admissions dropped to 68.6 percent of predicted admissions during the week of April 11, later rising to a high of 94.3 percent of predicted levels by the week of July 11. As of Aug. 8, admission volume dipped slightly to 90.8 percent of predicted levels.

2. Overall, declines in hospital admissions between March 8 and Aug. 8 represent 6.9 percent of total expected admissions for 2020.

3. Patients ages 65 and older had about half as many non-COVID-19 admissions in late March and April as what was predicted, stabilizing at about 80 percent to 85 percent in late July and early August.  

4. Hospitals in the Northeast experienced the steepest drop in non-COVID-19 admissions, with those admissions decreasing to about half of predicted admissions the week of April 11, rising to 87 percent of predicted levels in early August. Hospitals in the Midwest followed a similar pattern but did not experience quite as steep an initial drop in admissions. In the South, there has been less of a rebound in non-COVID-19 admissions, sitting at about 82 percent of predicted levels in early August. Hospitals in the West did not experience as large a decline as other areas, but also haven't seen as large of a rebound.  

5. If the number of admissions remains at about 90 percent of predicted admissions, as they were Aug. 8, through the end of the year, total admissions will be 10.5 percent below predicted volume for 2020. If admissions remain at or above 90 percent of predicted admissions, hospital revenues may stabilize at a somewhat sustainable level, KFF predicts.  

More articles on patient flow:
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