The global ambulatory services market is projected to expand at a moderate CAGR of nearly 6% over the forecast period (2016 to 2024). The industry was valued approximately USD 2200 billion in 2014. High government expenditure on ambulatory care services plays a vital role in driving market demand. Implementation of government initiatives that support team-based primary care could positively impact the market in the years to come. Popularity of day surgery centers attributes to technological advancements and reduced hospital stays. Ambulatory services lead to cost savings due to lower hospital stay costs. Unlike conventional surgeries that require long hospital stays, non-surgical methods facilitate day surgeries. This attributes to the availability of resourceful recovery procedures.
The worldwide ambulatory services industry is categorized on the basis of types and regions. As per types, the divisions are primary care offices, outpatient departments, emergency departments, surgical specialty, medical specialty, and others. With revenues surpassing USD 400 billion, primary care offices led the overall market in 2014. Being the initial point of care, primary care has been obtaining strong government support. With substantial financial impetus, governments in a number of regions have successfully established community care centers.
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Popularity of same-day surgeries and technological advancements drive the surgery specialty segment. It is anticipated to grow rapidly in the forthcoming years. A number of acquisitions have been taking place over the past couple of years in the market for surgery specialty. In 2015, Apollo Hospital acquired the Nova Medical surgical unit for around USD 24 million. Such collaborations could significantly contribute to this market segment from 2016 to 2024. Several providers of ambulatory health care operate closely with other healthcare providers & physicians to expand their worldwide reach. Tenet Healthcare and United Surgical Partners International came together in 2015 and increased the network for ambulatory healthcare units.
Geographically, the global ambulatory services market is categorized into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America dominated the industry in 2014. Regional drivers are shift of geriatric patients from inpatient to outpatient care and cost savings brought about by same day surgeries. The ambulatory services market in Europe is a gradually expanding one. The region is fueled by popularity of newer types of anesthesia that cause minimal discomfort to patients. This ensures rapid recovery without hospital stays.
Asia Pacific is poised to grow at a CAGR surpassing 7% over the forecast period. Burgeoning healthcare costs because of widespread prevalence of chronic ailments is causing companies & governments take to the “outpatient” trend. China has introduced mobile apps that facilitate outpatient medical appointments & payments for the same. This app in turn brings down long waiting times.
Prominent companies operating in the worldwide ambulatory services market are Medical Facilities Corporation, Nueterra, Aspen Healthcare, Surgery Partners, and Symbion. Some of the commonly used ambulatory software are ambulatory EHR/EMR, ambulatory practice management (PM), ambulatory patient portal, and ambulatory medical billing. Electronic health records (EHRs) are central repositories for patient and patient-care related data, such as progress notes, lab orders, and medication lists. Practice management systems are repositories for administrative data, such as workflow management, appointment scheduling, and patient registration. In most ambulatory facilities, patient portals are primary methods of communication that takes place between healthcare providers and patients.