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Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. 1975-2017

Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. from 1975 to 2017

by John Elflein, last edited May 29, 2019
Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. 1975-2017 Trends indicate that the overall number of hospital beds in the U.S. is decreasing. In 1975, there were about 1.5 million hospital beds in the U.S., but until 2017 the number dropped to just about 931 thousand. There is a growing trend towards consumer use of outpatient services, which tend to be less costly for patients. This may be only one reason why hospital bed numbers are decreasing in the United States.
Hospital beds

The U.S. has many types of hospitals, including non-profit, for-profit, and public. Among federal and non-federal hospitals, there has been the same decrease in the number of hospital beds, but there are significantly fewer hospital beds at federal hospitals. Despite seeing a decrease in the number of hospital beds, the hospital occupancy rate has only shown some variation.

Hospital costs

Costs also may be an important factor in the reduction of number of hospital beds in the U.S., however, costs do not appear to be on the decline. Data suggests that 2017 was the most expensive year for inpatient stays at U.S. hospitals. In fact, the United States has the highest daily hospital costs in the world. Hospital costs depend heavily on the condition that is being treated. Among acute conditions with the highest associated hospital costs in 2016 was angina.
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Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. from 1975 to 2017

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by John Elflein, last edited May 29, 2019
Trends indicate that the overall number of hospital beds in the U.S. is decreasing. In 1975, there were about 1.5 million hospital beds in the U.S., but until 2017 the number dropped to just about 931 thousand. There is a growing trend towards consumer use of outpatient services, which tend to be less costly for patients. This may be only one reason why hospital bed numbers are decreasing in the United States.
Hospital beds

The U.S. has many types of hospitals, including non-profit, for-profit, and public. Among federal and non-federal hospitals, there has been the same decrease in the number of hospital beds, but there are significantly fewer hospital beds at federal hospitals. Despite seeing a decrease in the number of hospital beds, the hospital occupancy rate has only shown some variation.

Hospital costs

Costs also may be an important factor in the reduction of number of hospital beds in the U.S., however, costs do not appear to be on the decline. Data suggests that 2017 was the most expensive year for inpatient stays at U.S. hospitals. In fact, the United States has the highest daily hospital costs in the world. Hospital costs depend heavily on the condition that is being treated. Among acute conditions with the highest associated hospital costs in 2016 was angina.
Show more
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