Hospital discharges have declined for the past several years as new technology and medical practices allow outpatient care to be a cost-effective and practical treatment option. But factors like the aging population, growing prevalence of chronic conditions, and increasing rates of obesity are pushing in the opposite direction, leading some hospitals to invest in inpatient care and bed capacity to accommodate rising discharges. The following list, based off of Definitive Healthcare data, identifies the top 10 hospitals with the highest and lowest growth in inpatient discharges. All hospitals had at least 500 discharges in 2010.
The top 10 hospitals with the most inpatient growth tend to be newer facilities or have undergone significant expansion since 2010. Six of the 10 opened between 2007 and 2011, experiencing strong inpatient growth as the hospital brand and reputation is established and/or the patient service area increases in population. Other hospitals, like Dallas Medical Center, were acquired by new operators who subsequently invested in inpatient capacity. Wellstar Paulding Hospital’s discharges accelerated after 2014 when an entirely new replacement hospital was constructed.