Ambulatory Health Care Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Ambulatory Health Care Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry, which include physicians, dentists, outpatient care centers, and imaging and diagnostic facilities, provide health care services to ambulatory patients. Major companies include Apria Healthcare, DaVita, and LabCorp (all based in the US), as well as Bayshore HealthCare (Canada), Fresenius (Germany), and Sonic Healthcare (Australia).

Global spending on health care, including ambulatory care, totals about $7.8 trillion, or about 10% of the world gross domestic product (GDP), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Spending on ambulatory care services in industrialized countries vary by nation. The US has the highest spending on ambulatory care, at 17% of GDP; followed by Switzerland, Germany, France, and Sweden with 11-12%, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The ambulatory health care services industry in the US comprises about 620,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of more than $1 trillion.


Pressure on the health care industry to drive down costs is pushing more care into lower-cost ambulatory settings and away from hospitals and nursing homes. Payments are increasingly based on whether providers meet quality standards. Demand for health care services is driven by demographics and advances in medical care and technology. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficiency, reputation, and expertise.

Large companies have advantages in buying supplies and in negotiating contracts with health insurers. Small companies can compete successfully by ...

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