Inpatient days to grow 9% within a decade: Vizient

The nation's aging population and rising prevalence of comorbidities will worsen emergency department bottlenecks and lengthen inpatient days by 9% within the next 10 years, according to Vizient experts. 

On June 10, Vizient company Sg2 released its 2024 Impact of Change report, which projected continued patient access issues in emergency department and inpatient care settings. The healthcare consulting company said that, by 2034, medical and surgical days will grow 9% and ED volume will increase 4%.

The forecast said high acuity inpatient days will climb by 13%, medium acuity by 9% and low acuity by 4%. Discharges are expected to increase 3% to 31 million annual discharges. 

In outpatient care, the consultant company predicted a 17% jump in outpatient volumes because of "expanded capabilities and patients' procedural needs, [as well as] chronic care required to manage ongoing conditions," the report said. 

Here are four more projections:

  • Behavioral health inpatient discharges and outpatient volumes are expected to grow 8% and 26%, respectively, over the next decade. 

  • Bariatric inpatient bariatric surgery volumes will see a 15% decline as patients shift toward pharmaceutical options and outpatient sites of care, which is projected to see a 13% increase in surgery volumes. 

  • Virtual settings are expected to deliver 23% of evaluation and management visits.

  • Home health is predicted to grow 22% by 2034.

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