Economic Analysis of Outpatient Care Centers vs. Hospitals Essay

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Economic Analysis of Outpatient Care Centers vs. Hospitals

A recent phenomenon in the health services is the burgeoning of outpatient healthcare centers. Particularly vigorous growth has been observed in centers that perform diagnostic tests and simple surgeries and procedures like colonoscopies. At the current state, outpatient care centers outnumber hospitals in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, these centers now perform one of every four surgical and diagnostic procedures in the state (Levy 2006). However, the trend applies nationwide, and other states could easily follow suit. Many critics have commented on the negative and positive aspects of this trend. What remains to be determined are the long term effects (on health and the economy)
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It found that there was no significant change in the mortality rates and effectiveness of the treatments when observed in the long term; thus, outpatient clinics were a viable alternative (from the health perspective) to inpatient centers. Aside from severe cases, outpatient centers even provided better care in the psychiatric unit as well as some others. The trend of outpatient care centers is not a recent one; it has been ongoing since the early 1990s. In the first five years of the decade, outpatient visits rose by 27%. This trend has only continued to grow, as health care groups strive to streamline in the face of rising costs. By applying techniques of quadratic regression on the data provided by the House Ways and Means Committee, one can see the level of growth is gaining momentum – the rate of the change is increasing quite rapidly. Thus, as we delve deeper into the first decade of the millennium, the trend continues as outpatient centers eclipse the inpatient centers. As stated before, one of the major advantages of the outpatient clinic as opposed to a traditional inpatient hospital is the variance in costs, which often correlates with a variance in prices to patients. A study done at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, CA evaluated the finances of their substance abuse and psychiatric centers in outpatient and inpatient settings. These
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