The following graphs are based on census data extracted from the complete annual financial reports submitted to The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for the State of California. The Census data was analyzed for 387 California hospitals from 2003-2011 (list of hospitals in the study). The analysis included total hospital census (in patient days) discharges (which equal admissions) and the average duration of hospitalizations for all patients hospitalized during the period as well as for Medicare patients. Hospitals were excluded from the study only if they had not submitted nine full years of financial records between 2003 and 2011 to the OSHPD.
Figure 1 shows that the average duration for a hospitalization for all 387 California hospitals dropped slightly from 2003 -2011. The Average length of a hospitalization was about 5.7 days for just over 3.2 million hospitalized patients in 2003. That average fell to 5.4 days for 3.3 million patients in 2011
Figure 2 shows the average length of a hospital stay for all Medicare patients in the study. In 2003 the average duration of a hospitalization for 1.17 million Medicare patients was 6.1 days. That average fell to 5.5 days for the 1.26 million Medicare patients hospitalized in California in 2011.
Figures 3 and 4 show that the total number of admissions for all 387 hospitals in the study peeked in 2008 and then declined to about the 2005 level by 2011. Medicare admissions for all 387 California hospitals have continued to rise steadily for a total increase of 7.3% over the nine years of the study. The rate of Medicare admissions is slower than the rate in which Medicare recipients grew in California during the same period (see below).
In figure 5 we see that the total number of Medicare recipients rose 14.7% which is nearly double the percent at which Medicare hospital admissions rose during that period.
In figure 6 we see that the percent of all California Medicare recipients who were admitted to the 387 hospitals in study has been declining since 2007. This implies a California resident with medicare was about 6% less likely to be admitted to the hospital in 2011 than in 2003.