Study: Demand for ambulatory care declines

We all know, by this point, that the economy has encouraged consumers to cut down on ambulatory care. But the numbers coming out of a recent survey surprised even hardened trend-watchers like myself.

Apparently, a full 61 percent of the practices participating in a recent survey reported that they'd seen decreased patient volume in the past 12 months. Worse, 11 percent said they'd seen a decrease of 20 percent or greater. A larger number (605 of the respondents), saw declines range between 20 percent and 5 percent.

The study, conducted by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Care's Institute for Quality Improvement, reached out to 985 organizations via an online survey. Of the group, 57 percent said that elective procedure volumes were decreasing. Meanwhile, 76 percent said the economy was impacting patients' ability to pay copays and deductibles.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)