Friday, January 06, 2006

Hopsital Building Boom

From USA Today:

The USA is in the middle of the biggest hospital-construction boom in a half-century, a development expected to increase the use of high-tech medicine and add fuel to rising health care costs.

The hospital industry has spent nearly $100 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars in the past five years on new facilities, up 47% from the previous five years, according to the Census Bureau. Spending was likely to reach a record $23.7 billion in 2005.

"We are replacing a generation of hospitals that are obsolete," says Kirk Hamilton, a hospital architect who teaches at Texas A&M University.
New hospitals don't mean more beds: Capacity fell to 808,000 beds in 2004, down 18,000 from 2001.

The money is being spent on more luxurious buildings packed with advanced equipment. The hospitals focus on profitable treatments such as heart surgery and neonatal care that are reimbursed at higher rates by private insurance and Medicare


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