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National Hospital Week: Saving lives, serving patients

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Hospitals and health systems admit 60 people every minute across the country. More than 1 in 3 Americans visit emergency departments each year.

Before National Hospital Week comes to an end, it’s worth recognizing the contributions of America’s hospitals.

National Hospital Week runs May 12-18, and hospitals across America have been sharing their stories about their contributions to their communities.

The American Hospital Association offers some statistics about the services of hospitals and health systems.

Each year, 137 million Americans are treated in emergency departments. That’s more than 1 in 3 Americans.

Many of those Americans, thankfully, don’t require admission. But each year, 32 million people are admitted to the nation’s hospitals. Each minute, 60 people are admitted to hospitals.

Hospitals and health systems provide care for 26 million uninsured Americans.

U.S. hospitals deliver 3.5 million babies annually.

Hospitals are often the largest employers in their communities, or are among the top employers. Nationwide, hospitals employ 6.3 million Americans.

This week, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing National Hospital Week. The resolution honored more than 1,300 critical access hospitals serving patients in rural communities, and nearly 1,700 teaching hospitals.

The resolution was sponsored by Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

“We appreciate their recognition of the important work that hospitals, nurses and other caregivers are doing for patients nationwide,” Lisa Kidder Hrobsky, senior vice president of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement. “We look forward to continue working with Congress to ensure that hospitals and health systems continue to be at the forefront of advancing health in each and every community.”

It’s also worth acknowledging the 172 VA medical centers serving veterans nationwide. The Veterans Health Administration also operates 1,138 outpatient facilities serving nine million veterans annually.

Nonprofit hospitals have been struggling financially in the past two years. While some continue to encounter headwinds, there is some room for optimism, according to Kevin Holloran, senior director for Fitch Ratings.

“The volumes are coming back,” Holloran said in a webinar in March, adding, ““We're predicting better times.”

Read more: What hospitals want from Washington in 2024

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