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HOSPITAL OUTPATIENT VISITS ON THE RISE

 CHICAGO, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Spurred by technological innovations and increasing restrictions placed on inpatient care from payors, hospital outpatient visits increased last year by 7 percent, according to newly released figures from the American Hospital Association.
 Findings in the just published "AHA Hospital Statistics 1992- 1993," also revealed a tremendous increase in the number and variety of outpatient services offered by hospitals. In 1984, roughly 50 percent of all community hospitals had outpatient departments; by 1991, 87 percent had them.
 Numerous factors have contributed to the growth of outpatient services. "Outpatient services have mushroomed as a result of the development of increasingly sophisticated technology and changes in payment," said Irene Fraser, director of AHA's Division of Ambulatory Care. There are more incentives in place to serve patients in an outpatient setting, and patients are demanding more accessible services without an overnight stay.
 Some of the notable changes in services provided by hospitals over the past five years include:
 -- In 1986, 38 percent of all community hospitals provided outpatient rehabilitation services. In 1991, 52 percent did so.
 -- Five years ago, 60 percent of all community hospitals had CT scanners; 73 percent did so last year.
 -- Community health promotion was available from 80 percent of all community hospitals in 1991; up from 72 percent in 1986.
 "AHA Hospital Statistics 1992-1993" contains data on various other hospital trends such as staffing levels, financial information, hospital utilization and trends in services. Based on the AHA's Annual Survey of Hospitals, the book provides a comprehensive look at the U.S. hospital field.
 The AHA, a not-for-profit organization, serves as a national advocate for hospitals and the patients they serve, provides education and information for its members and informs the public on hospitals and health care issues.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /NOTE: Limited copies of the 275-page "AHA Hospital Statistics 1992-1993" are available to reporters on request. Call 312-280-6340 to request a copy./
 /CONTACT: Donna Gaidamak of the American Hospital Association, 312-280-6129/


CO: American Hospital Association ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

IH -- DC011 -- 8161 12/18/92 11:22 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1992
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