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California Hospitals: An Evolving Environment

Health Management Associates
Capacity at California's acute care hospitals was fairly stable over the decade from 2004 to 2013, with some regional variation. This Almanac report examines hospital supply, use of services, finances, and quality.

California's general acute care (GAC) hospitals discharged more than 3.3 million patients and had nearly 44 million outpatient visits in 2013. California Hospitals: An Evolving Environment examines the state's GAC hospitals, including bed supply and capacity, use of services, financial health, and selected quality measures.

Key findings include:

  • The number of general acute care hospitals declined by 4% between 2004 and 2013, while the number of beds remained largely unchanged.
  • Skilled nursing and acute psychiatric beds declined significantly during that decade, while both adult and newborn intensive care beds increased.
  • The eight largest hospital systems accounted for 40% of hospitals and beds in California.
  • A larger percentage of hospitals were profitable in 2013 than in 2004 as reflected by both total and operating margins.
  • The costs of uncompensated care, as measured by charity care and bad debt, rose by 45% between 2004 and 2013 to $2.8 billion.
  • Preventable adverse events reported at California hospitals increased each year from 2009 to 2013. California performed slightly below the US average on eight patient satisfaction measures.

The complete report, all the charts found in the report, and a quick reference guide, along with past editions of the report, are available as Document Downloads.