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The healthcare industry impacts the lives of nearly every person in the United States.  There are more than 500,000 healthcare facilities throughout the country, employing almost 12 million people.

Thousands of activities take place daily within the healthcare sector. While the desired outcome of delivering healthcare services is improved health for patients and the community, many of the activities of the healthcare sector are not directly related to patient care. Maintaining physical facilities, substantial amounts of diagnostic and testing activities, key administrative services, and research activities are not direct forms of patient care, but are some of the major concerns of the healthcare industry.

Ambulatory Care Facilities
Ambulatory care refers to any medical care which is delivered on an outpatient basis.  Ambulatory care covers the following types of facilities:
  • ambulatory surgery centers
  • dialysis clinics
  • mental health and substance abuse clinics
  • physical therapy and rehabilitation facilities
  • physician offices, and medical laboratories

Ambulatory healthcare facilities make up 88 percent of total healthcare facilities.  Technological advancement has allowed a growing range of procedures to be performed safely on an outpatient basis.  Since the 1980s, the number of surgeries performed in a hospital has decreased by about half, and the number of surgeries performed in an outpatient facility has more than quadrupled. The number of outpatient ambulatory surgery centers in the U.S. in 2007 was reported to be 6,604 by the U.S. Census Bureau. This number has risen steadily, and is expected to keep rising.

Hospitals can be divided into two main segments: general and specialty.  General hospitals is one in which patients with many different types of ailments are given care.  Specialty hospitals tend to focus on patients with specific medical conditions or who need surgical procedures. They represent a small but growing segment of the healthcare industry.  Following are the most common types of specialty hospitals found in the United States:

Cardiac (Heart) Hospital: These have a high rate of cardiac admissions to total admissions.  Freestanding heart hospitals are owned and run by specialists with investment partners.  Heart hospitals are hospitals solely dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.  Currently there are around 40 cardiac hospitals in the U.S. that contain an estimated 2,300 beds.

Children’s Hospital: The number of children's hospitals proliferated in the 20th century, as pediatric medical and surgical specialties separated from internal medicine and adult surgical specialties.  Children's hospitals are characterized by greater attention to the psychosocial support of children and their families. There are around 140 free standing children’s hospitals in the U.S. that contain an estimated 18,200 beds.  There are approximately 50 freestanding general acute care children’s hospitals and 90 orthopedic, rehabilitative, psychiatric and other specialty children’s hospitals.

Orthopedic Hospital: These hospitals specialize in treating orthopedic conditions and performing orthopedic surgery.  Orthopedic is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention or correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments.  There are around 55 free standing orthopedic hospitals in the U.S. that contain an estimated 1,155 beds.

Women's Hospital: The movement toward women's hospitals has declined. The trend now is to integrate women's hospital into general hospitals. Currently there are around 23 Women’s hospitals nationwide that contain an estimated 1,400 beds.

Long-Term Care Facilities
Long-term care facilities generally fall into two segments: assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  As of 2008 there were 15,711 certified nursing facilities in the U.S. containing over 1.6 million beds.  In 2007, there were 38,373 licensed assisted living and residential care facilities in the U.S. containing 974,585 units.  While the number of certified nursing facilities is dropping, the number of licensed assisted living facilities in the U.S. is increasing.  This trend is largely attributed to the fact that the elderly are experiencing greater health and are opting to live in assisted living facilities over nursing homes which in the past may have been their only choice, other than living with family.

Global Market Consultants, Inc. has conducted a number of in-depth studies on the healthcare industry. Through our extensive analysis we have identified opportunities that provided direction enabling our client’s to successfully meet their objectives.

Whether it’s understanding industry trends, discerning the impact of regulations, or seeking specific market knowledge, we can help your organization achieve your goals. To see how we can assist you please contact Sam Sparacino at 727-239-7609 or by email at ssparacino@gmarketc.com.

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