Outpatient volume is "in" again. Two straight quarters of primary care visits tracked by Truven Health Analytics show gains after a nine-quarter decrease. Yes, the market is coming back and as the Wall Street Journal says, "It May Be Time to See a Doctor" (8/10/12)
Some providers have told us that inpatient declines are influenced by readmission reduction and observation case coding increase - is this a harbinger of better site of care management? Is the outpatient surge part of integrated care delivery, or better site of care management or consumer confidence in healthcare? The following are some implications to consider:
1) Are your inpatient admissions up or down?
2) What's the impact of observation status and/ or avoidable readmissions? Is this an indicator that your coding and care management are better balanced?
3) Are your outpatient visits up or down, and if so, in what areas?
4) Are your primary care providers' visit volumes up or down?
5) How much of the volume gain is influenced by direct patient acquistion tactics?
5) How does this influence your outlook on outpatient volume acquisition or primary care delivery?
Consider these implications and then read the full story from the Journal by clicking here. Please do comment on what you are seeing in your medical community or in your market!