June 10, 2024

Sg2 projects continued constraints for patient access to care

IRVING, Texas, June 10, 2024 – Sg2, a Vizient, Inc. company, released its 2024 Impact of Change®, projecting continued constraints on patient access to emergency department (ED) and inpatient (IP) care. Led by an aging population and an increased incidence of chronic disease and conditions such as behavioral health, IP and outpatient (OP) volumes will continue to increase over the next decade, impacting how and where organizations deliver care. Access the Sg2 2024 Impact of Change®.

Sg2 anticipates IP utilization will rise 3% to 31 million annual discharges, while IP days will increase 9% to 170 million over the next decade, impacting health care organizations’ ability to manage the flow of patients. Growth in medical discharges will outpace surgical as patients age and are increasingly comorbid, exacerbating bottlenecks in the ED while patients are forced to wait for beds in the IP setting.

Similar trends will impact the OP setting, leading to a projected 17% jump in OP volumes to 5.82 billion. Robust growth will be seen in both OP surgical services, driven by expanded capabilities and patients’ procedural needs, and chronic care required to manage ongoing conditions, such as dysrhythmia and dementia.

  • Access a companion Q&A with Sg2 experts who discuss insights from this year's projections that can help health care leaders achieve financial sustainability and growth—and, most importantly, provide accessible and effective patient care.

The Impact of Change® projects health care demand across service lines and sites of care for over 27,000 unique disease and procedure combinations, helping organizations understand care delivery opportunities in the decade ahead. Other notable findings in the Impact of Change® include:

Behavioral Health – IP discharges and OP volumes are expected to grow 8% and 26%, respectively, over the coming decade. This increased demand will place further pressure on already constrained access points, such as primary care or psychotherapy services.

Bariatric – IP bariatric surgery volumes will see a 15% decline in the next decade, fueled in part by scaled adoption of pharmaceuticals coming to market, but also by a shift in commercial and self-paid bariatric surgical volumes shifting to the OP setting, which is projected to see a 13% increase.

Virtual – Enabled by greater adoption of technological advances, by 2034 23% of evaluation and management visits will be delivered in a virtual setting. “You’ll see more uptake in virtual services that are consultative in nature, think chronic disease,” said Tori Richie, senior consulting director, Intelligence, Sg2 and Impact of Change lead. “Anything that leans surgical, such as orthopedics or spine, will have less virtual uptake.”

Care at home — Further enabled by virtual capabilities, home health is expected to grow 22%. As the aging, high-acuity patient population continues to require longer stays in the hospital (9% IP growth), organizations must be intentional about how they plan their IP and OP service line strategies. “How many bed days could care at home save? What other capacity constraints could be relieved by a robust care at home offering? These are questions organizations should be asking to ensure resources are effectively deployed in a manner that achieves high quality outcomes for patients,” Richie said.

Learn more about the Sg2 Impact of Change Forecast.


About Sg2

Sg2, a Vizient company, is the health care industry’s premier authority on health care trends, insights, and market analytics. Our analytics and expertise help hospitals and health systems achieve sustainable growth and ensure ongoing market relevance through the development of an effective System of CARE, implementation of novel payment model innovations, and consumer-driven solutions that activate patients and drive physician and customer loyalty. Learn more at www.sg2.com.

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc., the nation’s largest provider-driven healthcare performance improvement company, serves more than 65% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 97% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 35% of the non-acute market. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and consulting services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents $140 billion in annual purchasing volume. Solutions and services from Vizient improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at www.vizientinc.com.

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