For the first time in 35 years, outpatient visits to U.S. hospitals are down—and urgent care is at least partially responsible, according to a new report from the American Hospital Association. The AHA 2020 Hospital Statistics Report, reflecting data from 6,000 hospitals, notes a 1% drop in 2018 compared with 2017, led by reduction in emergency room visits. AHA attributes the historic reduction to patients choosing more convenient and less expensive options, including urgent care centers. Hospital revenues have not followed suit, increasing 4.5% between 2017 and 2018.
AHA Says Outpatient Visits Are Down—and Urgent Care Is One of the Reasons