Health care is going through a transformation—and one of the most impactful changes is the shift from inpatient to outpatient care. While inpatient discharges for Medicare patients declined, outpatient visits have gone up rapidly over the past decade.
This is especially true for imaging. Imaging services have long been moving from the inpatient to the outpatient setting. And more recently, due to new payer pressures and patient preferences, there is increased pressure to place these outpatient services in freestanding facilities. In a 2017 survey, hospital-based imaging leaders predicted significant growth not just outpatient, but off-campus.
This research briefing explores the market factors underlying this trend, what the outpatient shift means for the price of imaging services, and most importantly, how imaging programs should respond.