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Hospital admissions continue to decline

The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2013
The number of "heads in the beds" remains a key factor in any hospital's financial success, despite the decades-long migration of health-care services to outpatient settings. But last year, the trend of declining inpatient admissions accelerated at many Philadelphia-area hospitals and health systems, according to municipal-bond disclosures analyzed by The Inquirer. A big factor is a surge in short hospital stays - known as observation cases - that do not count as full admissions and pay only about a third as much as inpatient admissions. But that's not the only reason, health-care executives said in interviews Wednesday.