Construction Activity in U.S. Hospitals

May/June 2006
Health Affairs , Vol. 25, No. 3
Gloria J. Bazzoli, Anneliese M. Gerland, Jessica H. May

Hospital construction activity is increasing, but little information exists on what types of hospital capacity are affected and what is motivating specific efforts. This analysis of Round Five Community Tracking Study data revealed four general types of activity: new hospital construction or expansion of existing general hospital capacity; new or expanded capacity in specialty services; replacement of aged facilities; and expansion of capacity-constrained services. Some of these actions are responsive to community need, but others resemble a medical-arms-race response. Overall, current construction activity will provide more convenient access for some consumers but at high cost if excess capacity results.

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