CHA News Article

Study Shows Hospital Outpatient Departments Treat Sicker Patients

A study released by the American Hospital Association (AHA) reveals that hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) more often treat sicker and poorer patients than do physician offices. The study supports AHA’s position against proposals for Medicare to pay for hospital care at the same rates as physician offices. Prepared by KNG Health Consulting, the study also shows that patients treated in HOPDs are more likely to be uninsured or covered by Medicaid, come from communities with lower incomes and higher poverty rates, and have more severe chronic conditions than those treated in physician offices. “The needs of patients cared for in hospitals are different from those seen at physician offices; treating them like they are the same does not make sense,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock.