Other national inpatient utilization measures also dropped during this period: the number of beds per capita declined 4 percent, inpatient days per capita declined 8 percent and inpatient surgeries per capita declined 9 percent, according to the 2014 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics. This across-the-board decline was reflected in all U.S. regions except two: New England (Conn., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I. and Vt.) saw 4 percent growth in beds per capita, and in the Mountain region (Ariz., Colo., Idaho, N.M., Mont., Utah, Nev. and Wy.), the number of beds per capita remained flat.

As inpatient measures declined, most national outpatient utilization indicators grew. Emergency outpatient visits per capita and total outpatient visits per capita each increased 5 percent between 2008 and 2012. The only outlier was outpatient surgeries per capita, which declined 3 percent nationally but grew 1 percent in the West North Central region (Iowa, Kan., Minn., Mo., Neb., N.D. and S.D.) and the Mountain region, and 5 percent in the South Atlantic region (Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Md., N.C., S.C., Va. and W.V.).

For more information about AHA data, call 866-375-3633.

Coming in June: Managing the RAC Process

Trustee will take a look at the growing administrative burden of the Medicare recovery audit contractor program.