Rural and Urban Hospitals’ Role in Providing Inpatient Care

April 23, 2014

In 2010, 17% of the U.S. population lived in rural (nonmetropolitan) areas. Disparities in health care access between rural and urban areas have been documented. Rural hospitals not only provide inpatient care, but also emergency department, outpatient department, long-term care, and health care coordination . Rural hospitals may have difficulty remaining financially viable. Medicare payment policies help keep the low-volume hospitals solvent so that vulnerable populations have access to health care without traveling to urban areas.

A new NCHS report provides national data on patients served, and inpatient care provided, by rural hospitals in the health care system in 2010.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2010, 12% of the 35 million U.S. hospitalizations were in rural hospitals.
  • A higher percentage of inpatients in rural hospitals were aged 65 and over (51%) compared with inpatients in urban hospitals (37%).
  • The average number of diagnoses for rural and urban inpatients was similar, as was the average length of stay.
  • Sixty-four percent of rural hospital inpatients, compared with 38% of urban hospital inpatients, had no procedures performed while in the hospital.
  • Following their hospitalization, a higher percentage of rural inpatients (7%) than urban inpatients (3%) were transferred to other short-term hospitals, and a higher percentage of rural (14%) than urban (11%) inpatients were discharged to long-term care institutions.
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A brief look at homicide

February 4, 2009

Health care use:

1.8 million emergency department visits for assault
National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2006

Mortality:

Number of deaths from homicide: 18,124
Deaths per 100,00 population: 6.1

Firearm homicide deaths: 12,352
Deaths per 100,000 population: 4.2
Deaths: Final Data for 2005


Outpatient surgeries increase in the U.S.

January 28, 2009

The number of outpatient surgery visits in the United States increased from 1996 to 2006, from 20.8 million to 34.7 million visits. Outpatient surgery visits accounted for about one half of all surgery visits in 1996 but nearly two thirds of all surgery visits in 2006. A new report from NCHS, “Ambulatory Surgery in the United States, 2006,” contains the first data on outpatient surgery visits since 1996. The data were collected from 142 hospitals and 295 freestanding centers as part of the National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery (NSAS).

Highlights:

•Females had significantly more ambulatory surgery visits (20 million) than males (14.7 million).

•The procedures performed most often during outpatient surgery visits included endoscopies of the large intestine (5.8 million) and small intestine (3.5 million) and extraction of lens for cataract surgery (3.1 million).

•The leading diagnosis for outpatient surgery visits was cataract, with 3 million visits, followed by benign tumor (neoplasm) with 2 million visits and malignant tumor with 1.2 million visits.

     


Food allergies on the rise among U.S. children

October 22, 2008

 

More Highlights from Data Brief #10:

  • In 2007, approximately 3 million children under age 18 years (3.9%) were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months.
  • From 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18% among children under age 18 years.
  • Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.
  • From 2004 to 2006, there were approximately 9,500 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children under age 18 years.
  • Link to full report.