Utah's healthcare industry is constantly changing to remain viable and to meet the demands of a growing clientele of patients. Outlined below are a few of the healthcare industry's unique characteristics.

Over the last ten years, Utah has reported one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the nation. With few contagious diseases, moderate smoking and alcohol consumption, low cancer and crime rates, Utah ranks first in 1990 State Health Ratings by Northwestern National Life Insurance Company. Utah ranks third in the nation in the general health of it's population. (ReliaStar State Health Rankings, 1995) Utah has the nation's second-highest birth rate, the second-lowest death rate, and the fourth-longest life span (76 years). The American Hospital Association reports that Utah has more personnel per patient than the Mountain Region of the The United States. (Profile of Utah Healthcare, Utah Hospital Association.

As of December 31, 1999, there were seventeen different ownership systems (health systems) in Utah, including for profit, not-for-profit, city, county, federal and state-ownership entities. These systems collectively owned or operated a total pf 51 hospitals consisting of 43 community hospitals and 8 non-community hospitals.

Data currently available (2003) for the state highlight the following:
  • Close to 40% of all discharges were maternity or newborn related and accounted for 15.5% of total facility charges.
  • Surgeries for all ages comprised approximately one quarter of all discharges
  • Over half (54%) of discharges were emergency or urgent admissions
  • Managed care paid for approximately one third of all admission with Medicare accounting for 25.3% and Medicaid 17.3%
  • Total hospital charges increased 14.9% between 2002 and 2003
  • Average length of stay (3.9) in 2003 has not changed significantly since 1998
  • Physicians per 100,000 population has remained stable hovering around 200 per 100,000. National averages are 248/100,000 population.
  • Number of Physicians continues to increase as well as the Utah population.
*All information and text: "Facts About Health Systems And Hospitals" published by the Utah Hospitals & Health Systems Association, August 2000