Number of Hospital Beds in State Declined by 4% Over Six-Year Period
The number of hospital beds in California declined by 4% from 2001 to 2007, according to a new report by the California HealthCare Foundation, Modern Healthcare reports. CHCF is the publisher of California Healthline.
Despite a 9% increase in California's population, the number of hospital beds in California dropped from 83,734 in 2001 to 80,616 in 2007.
The report found that California has the fewest hospital beds among the 10 most populous states. In 2007, California had 1.9 staffed beds per 1,000 residents compared with 3.2 staffed beds per 1,000 residents in New York and Pennsylvania.
Between 2001 and 2007, 27 California hospitals closed, losing 3,500 licensed beds.
The report also found that between 2001 and 2007:
- Bad debt increased by 19%:
- Charity care increased by 23%;
- Emergency department visits decreased by 5%;
- Hospital admissions decreased by 9%; and
- Hospital margins improved, with 55% of hospitals reporting positive operating margins and 68% of hospitals reporting positive total margins in 2007 (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 5/2).