High Regulation and More Patient Visits will Spur Demand for Medical Waste Disposal

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Medical waste generation is expected to continue growing steadily over the five years to 2016, according to IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research. Insurance coverage for low-income individuals will likely expand through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the aging US population will become Medicare eligible, resulting in increased patient visits to healthcare facilities. While this Act became effective in 2011, most of its effects will be felt during the next five years where revenue for the Medical Waste Disposal Services industry is forecast to grow to $3.0 billion. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Medical Waste Disposal Services Industry to its growing Healthcare Services report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

US medical facilities are expected to generate about 5.6 million tons of medical waste in 2011

Medical waste generation is expected to continue growing steadily over the five years to 2016, according to IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research. Insurance coverage for low-income individuals will likely expand through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the aging US population will become Medicare eligible, resulting in increased patient visits to healthcare facilities. While this Act became effective in 2011, most of its effects will be felt during the next five years where revenue for the Medical Waste Disposal Services industry is forecast to grow to $3.0 billion. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Medical Waste Disposal Services Industry to its growing Healthcare Services report collection.

US medical facilities are expected to generate about 5.6 million tons of medical waste in 2011. However, because of public safety concerns, most medical waste cannot be directly disposed of in landfills along with municipal solid waste. A growing number of laws and regulations govern the disposal of regulated medical waste (RMW), which is defined as waste that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials. As a result of increased regulation, most small quantity RMW-generating facilities outsource disposal activities in order to comply. While some large quantity generators (e.g. hospitals) dispose of their own waste at in-house incinerators, outsourced services represent another large market for the Medical Waste Disposal Services industry.

According to IBISWorld analyst, Brian Bueno, the number of patient visits in the healthcare sector has risen, and healthcare providers are outsourcing more disposal services to reduce costs, driving industry demand. “While the recession softened demand for health services as insurance coverage declined, the aging of the US population has created robust demand from individuals with Medicare coverage,” says Bueno. “Additionally, slimming margins for the Hospitals industry has forced many to outsource waste disposal activities that were previously done in-house.” Because of strong downstream demand, the industry remained relatively unscathed during the economic downturn, which cut revenue by just 1.2% in 2008.

The Medical Waste Disposal Services Industry is highly competitive, geographically fragmented and characterized by consolidation. The largest industry player, Stericycle has aggressively acquired small operators to expand its reach among the growing small quantity generator market (e.g. outpatient clinics and dental offices). Stericycle is the largest regulated medical waste management company in the United States, and it has significant operations overseas. US Ecology Inc. is another major player in the Medical Waste Disposal Services Industry. The company offers its services to a variety of markets, including refineries, chemical production facilities, manufacturers and medical institutions. Firms compete with a large number of regional and local waste collection firms and the in-house operations of some hospitals, which include firms like Waste Management Inc. and Healthcare Waste Solutions Inc. Rising waste generation and healthcare regulation is anticipated to create further opportunities for new entrants over the next five years, driving demand growth.

BISWorld’s Medical Waste Disposal Services market research report is a comprehensive guide to market size and growth prospects. Our industry reports offer strategic industry analysis of the factors influencing companies, including new product developments, economic, lifestyle and demographic influences, distribution and supply chain factors and pricing issues. Full analysis accompanies our data forecasts to illustrate how the market responds to emerging industry trends.

For more information, download the full report from IBISWorld on the Medical Waste Disposal Services Industry

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About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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