Inpatient Capacity Demand to Sharply Rise Over 4 Decades

A rising population and the aging of the baby boomer generation will lead to a 67 percent increase in demand for inpatient beds over the next four decades, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Researchers analyzed nationwide age-specific hospitalization rates from 2011 and applied the rates to the 2050 population predicted by the census.

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Due to the aging baby boomers, inpatient admissions will increase 18 percent more than population growth, and length of stay will increase by 22 percent more than population growth.  To handle this increase in admissions, inpatient capacity in the U.S. needs to increase by 72 percent.

Researchers acknowledge this study assumed all other factors involved remain the same, so they suggest more studies looking at multiple factors are necessary to better understand the future demand for inpatient services.

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