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Health Serv Res. 1986 August; 21(3): 403–428.
PMCID: PMC1068961

Hospital output forecasts and the cost of empty hospital beds.


This article investigates the cost incurred when hospitals have different levels of beds to treat a given number of patients. The cost of hospital care is affected by both the forecasted level of admissions and the actual number of admissions. When the relationship between forecasted and actual admissions is held constant, it is found that an empty hospital bed at a typical hospital in Michigan has a relatively low cost, about 13 percent or less of the cost of an occupied bed. However, empty beds in large hospitals do add significantly to cost. If hospital beds are closed, whether by closing beds at hospitals which remain in business or by closing entire hospitals, cost savings are estimated to be small.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Schwartz WB, Joskow PL. Duplicated hospital facilities: How much can we save by consolidating them? N Engl J Med. 1980 Dec 18;303(25):1449–1457. [PubMed]
  • Friedman B, Pauly MV. A new approach to hospital cost functions and some issues in revenue regulation. Health Care Financ Rev. 1983 Mar;4(3):105–114. [PubMed]
  • Shepard DS. Estimating the effect of hospital closure on areawide inpatient hospital costs: a preliminary model and application. Health Serv Res. 1983 Winter;18(4):513–549. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust