Surgeries in Hospital-Owned Outpatient Facilities

HCUP Statistical Brief #188

From 1992 to 2012, the total number of surgeries at community hospitals in the United States increased by 17 percent to about 26.8 million surgeries. Outpatient surgeries represented a growing share (65 percent; 17.3 million) of all surgeries at community hospitals in the United States in 2012, up from 54 percent (12.3 million) in 1992.

Ambulatory surgery (AS), or outpatient surgery, is a planned operation for which the patient is not expected to be admitted to the hospital. Comparison of AS with inpatient surgery is essential for understanding utilization patterns for specific surgical procedures.

Surgeries in Hospital-Owned Outpatient Facilities, a statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, compares surgeries performed at hospital-owned facilities in the AS versus inpatient setting in 28 States that provide data for both types of settings. These 28 States represent about two-thirds of the U.S. population. Procedures performed in freestanding (nonhospital-owned) AS centers were not included because many State AS data sources do not include these types of centers.


  • In 2012 across 28 states, 14.4 million hospital visits involved invasive, therapeutic surgeries. Just over half of these visits (53.1 percent) were performed in a hospital-owned AS setting, and the remaining (46.9 percent) were inpatient.
  • Nearly all hospital-based surgical procedures related to the eye (98.8 percent) and ear (91.8 percent) were outpatient. In contrast, obstetrical procedures were nearly all inpatient (97.7 percent).
  • The following procedures were among the most common AS:
    • Lens and cataract procedures (99.9 percent).
    • Cholecystectomy/common duct exploration (55.1 percent).
    • Excision of semilunar cartilage of knee (98.5 percent).
    • Hernia repair (90.2 percent).
    • Lumpectomy (96.5 percent).
    • Decompression peripheral nerve (95.2 percent).
    • Transurethral excision; drainage; or removal urinary obstruction (71.9 percent).
    • Pacemaker/cardioverter (64.0 percent).
    • Skin graft (67.0 percent).
    • Hysterectomy (39.8 percent).
    • Laminectomy/excision intervertebral disc (26.1 percent).

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Page last reviewed February 2015
Internet Citation: Surgeries in Hospital-Owned Outpatient Facilities: HCUP Statistical Brief #188. February 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.