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Dramatic Increase Seen in Patients Going from Hospitals to Home Care

AHRQ News and Numbers, March 9, 2011

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

The number of patients who needed home health care after being discharged from hospitals surged by about 70 percent (2.3 million to 4 million) from 1997 to 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

In contrast, the number of patients routinely discharged to their homes without the need for additional care grew by less than 8 percent, from 27 million to 29 million patients, during the period.

The Federal agency also found that during the period between 1997 and 2008:

  • Some 5 million hospital patients were discharged to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities—an increase of 35 percent (from 3.7 million to 5 million).
  • There was a 40 percent increase in the number of patients (264,000 to 370,000) who left the hospital against medical advice.
  • Hospitals transferred an additional 4 percent of patients to other hospitals (846,000 to 878,000).
  • Fewer patients died in the hospital—a decrease of 5 percent (from 852,000 to 811,000).

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on Exhibit 1.5 in HCUP Facts and Figures 2008, which provides highlights of the latest data from the 2008 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of March 2011
Internet Citation: Dramatic Increase Seen in Patients Going from Hospitals to Home Care: AHRQ News and Numbers, March 9, 2011. March 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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