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Census: Revenue Gap Between Ambulatory Services, Hospitals is Widening

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2009

For the third straight year, ambulatory healthcare services generated more revenues than did hospitals, and that revenue gap in 2008 more than quadrupled when compared with 2007, new U.S. Census Bureau data show.

Ambulatory healthcare services generated $730.3 billion in revenues in 2008, while hospitals generated $721 billion, a difference of $9.3 billion, according to figures released today from the 2008 Service Annual Survey: Health Care and Social Assistance.

The last year hospitals generated more revenue than ambulatory health services was 2005, when hospitals generated $611.5 billion, against $609.8 billion, a difference of $1.7 billion.

Since then, ambulatory health services have widened the revenue gap. In 2006, hospitals generated $644.5 billion, AHS generated $645.3, a difference of $800 million; in 2007 hospitals generated $685.4 billion, AHS generated $687.6 billion, a difference of $2.2 billion, Census Bureau data show.

The $721 billion in revenues generated by the hospital sector in 2008 represent an increase of about $36 billion over the $685.4 billion in revenues in 2007.

In 2000, hospitals generated $423.8 billion, and AHS generated $419.4 billion.

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