Report Sees Challenges for Hospitals in Aging California Population
An increase in the population of elderly Californians could translate to a shortage of hospital beds in inland Southern California, according to a California HealthCare Foundation report, the Riverside Press Enterprise reports.
The report is based on 2006 data from the Office of Statewide Health Care Planning and Development, the state office that oversees hospital construction.Â The report also considered census information from other state agencies.
The report cites projections that the number of Californians ages 65 and older will more than double by 2030, translating to almost nine million California residents.Â
As a result of the population growth, the report estimates that the number of days older Californians spend in the hospital could jump from 15 million days in 2000 to 25 million in 2030.
At the same time, Californians younger than age 65 are expected to spend about 1.5 million days in the hospital in 2030, up from 1 million in 2000.
The report suggests that hospitals will have to improve efficiency or increase capacity to address the increase in demand.
In light of the report's findings, hospital leaders in inland southern California voiced concerns about the cost of hospital construction and Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursements.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/18).CHCF publishes California Healthline. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.