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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Feb 15;191(4):410-6. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201409-1746OC.

Critical care bed growth in the United States. A comparison of regional and national trends.

Author information

1
1 Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness Center, Department of Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Although the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the United States is increasing, it is unknown whether this trend is consistent across all regions.

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to better characterize regional variation in ICU bed changes over time and identify regional characteristics associated with these changes.

METHODS:

We used data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the U.S. Census to summarize the numbers of hospitals, hospital beds, ICU beds, and ICU occupancy at the level of Dartmouth Atlas hospital referral region from 2000 to 2009. We categorized regions into quartiles of bed change over the study interval and examined the relationship between change categories, regional characteristics, and population characteristics over time.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

From 2000 to 2009 the national number of ICU beds increased 15%, from 67,579 to 77,809, mirroring population. However, there was substantial regional variation in absolute changes (median, +16 ICU beds; interquartile range, -3 to +51) and population-adjusted changes (median, +0.9 ICU beds per 100,000; interquartile range, -3.8 to +5.9), with 25.0% of regions accounting for 74.8% of overall growth. At baseline, regions with increasing numbers of ICU beds had larger populations, lower ICU beds per 100,000 capita, higher average ICU occupancy, and greater market competition as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (P < 0.001 for all comparisons).

CONCLUSIONS:

National trends in ICU bed growth are not uniformly reflected at the regional level, with most growth occurring in a small number of highly populated regions.

KEYWORDS:

bed supply; critical care; infrastructure; intensive care unit

PMID:
25522054
PMCID:
PMC4351597
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201409-1746OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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