National Patient and Procedure Volume Tracker

55 Percent Fewer Americans Sought Hospital Care in March-April Due to COVID-19, Driving a Clinical and Financial Crisis in U.S. Healthcare

 

As healthcare workers continue to bravely stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are being pushed to the brink of financial collapse. Across the country, healthcare providers are dealing with significantly higher costs due to COVID-19 and are facing a major reduction in the number of patients accessing their hospitals for care. While patients are beginning to reschedule elective surgeries, continued delays in critical patient care could mean another wave of challenges for hospitals.

A new analysis from data scientists at Strata Decision Technology (Strata) using the company’s newly launched National Patient and Procedure Volume Tracker™ reveals that hospitals are experiencing significant volume drops in key service line areas.

The National Patient and Procedure Volume Tracker™

5/11/2020 Original Tracker and Report Download
5/18/2020 New Data Added Download
5/26/2020 New & Updated Data Added Download
6/01/2020 New & Updated Data Added Download

Data scientists analyzed more than two million patient visits and procedures from 51 healthcare delivery systems in 40 states, with varying rates of COVID-19 cases in their 228 hospitals. The team compared patient encounters during a two-week period in March and April 2020 to the same period last year. The results were staggering:

Across all service lines and in every region of the country, the number of unique patients who sought care in a hospital setting decreased on average by 54.5 percent.

The sharp drop in encounters is linked to the cancellation of elective surgeries during his time, along with resource constraints and ongoing concerns for the safety of patients and staff.

How This Will Impact the Future of U.S. Hospitals
Millions of patients who put off care or had it delayed during the pandemic can soon be expected to flood hospitals and physician offices seeking care.

Clinical service lines that saw the sharp drops in patient encounters included those with life-threatening illnesses in clinical service lines such as a 57% decrease in cardiology and a 55% decrease in breast health, with a 37% decline in cancer overall.

Many facilities will likely be hard-pressed to handle the surge while simultaneously maintaining capacity for COVID-19 patients.

Inpatient Procedures and Surgeries, Outpatient Encounters Face Major Declines
Inpatient procedures and surgeries account for most of the revenue for hospitals. The top ten procedures account for over 50% of the total payments made to hospitals.

Among the findings are significant recent reductions in patient encounters (both inpatient and outpatient) for so-called elective care that is crucial to maintaining the health of millions of Americans. Drops in patient volume are shown below for several of the 225 Clinical Care Family™ definitions determined using the Sg2 Care Grouper™.

Access to clinical care for patients with life-threatening conditions declined significantly including congestive heart failure (-55%), heart attacks (57%) and stroke (-56%).  Access by patients for chronic conditions also fell for patients with hypertension (-37%) and diabetes (-67%).

The high volume patient visits and procedures that dropped the most were for cataracts (97%), sleep apnea (-91%) and osteoarthrosis (-88%) and glaucoma (-88%).

Additionally, health screenings that are designed to provide early detection but are often seen as less urgent were down significantly in volume, increasing the risk of undiagnosed disease.

Preventive wellness visits, gynecologic wellness and screenings, and GI benign neoplasms and polyps—which includes colonoscopies with removal of polyps—all saw volumes drop by over 75% in the cohort group.

Revenues Down by $60.1B Per Month: What This Means for Hospitals and Patients
The massive drop in patient visits and procedures during the pandemic has also led directly to unprecedented financial losses. Health systems in the study cohort lost an estimated $1.35 billion in revenue during the 2-week study period compared to the prior year.

Extrapolating the decline in volume from the cohort to a national view would be the equivalent revenue loss of $58.5 billion per month for hospitals nationwide.

Learn more about the results of the Strata study by downloading the report below.

The National Patient and Procedure Volume Tracker™

5/11/2020 Original Tracker and Report Download
5/18/2020 New Data Added Download
5/26/2020 New & Updated Data Added Download
6/01/2020 New & Updated Data Added Download