Healthcare How did COVID-19 impact US hospital volumes in April?

UBS Evidence Lab data provides an early glimpse at hospitals reporting April volumes.

28 May 2020
  • Average total surgeries fell 59% y/y in April vs. 26% in March.
  • The preliminary data is roughly in line with our US Hospital C-Suite COVID-19 PulseCheck survey fielded at the end of April, where hospital executives reported a 67% y/y decline in total surgical volumes in April and expected a mean 38% decrease for May.
  • Emergency Department visits were down 38% y/y in April vs. 18% in March. By comparison, the PulseCheck survey reported a mean 42% decline for April.
  • Average inpatient discharges and outpatient visits in April fell 28% and 31%, respectively (vs. 22% and 16% in March). The hospital survey reported larger declines of 45% and 58%.
  • Data on payer types shows that the share of Medicare inpatients – who are aged 65 and older – decreased in April 2020 relative to a year earlier.

US Hospital Volumes: Change y/y

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Colorado Hospital Association's Databank Program

US Hospitals: Mean y/y Change in Patient Volumes Based on PulseCheck Survey of Executives

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Colorado Hospital Association's Databank Program

Payer Type for Inpatient Discharges: April 2020 vs. April 2019

Source: UBS Evidence Lab