The Science Advisory Board Recommends Eliminating Health Services at Academic Medical Centers
Academic medical centers provide exceptional acute care, train tomorrow's physicians, and conduct cutting edge research. Given the financial pressures most centers are currently facing, the future viability of this tripartite mission is in jeopardy. In order to help determine where to cut expenses, members of The Science Advisory Board were asked which of these three activities is the least critical.
(PRWEB) November 10, 2002
ARLINGTON, VA Â November 8, 2002 Â Academic medical centers provide exceptional acute care, train tomorrow's physicians, and conduct cutting edge research. Given the financial pressures most centers are currently facing, the future viability of this tripartite mission is in jeopardy. In order to help determine where to cut expenses, members of The Science Advisory Board were asked which of these three activities is the least critical. Almost half of the 561 respondents stated that the provision of health services is the most dispensable, followed by 34% who thought research and 17% who believed teaching could be eliminated.
As health care becomes more price competitive, all payersÂincluding private payers, Medicare and MedicaidÂare decreasing their payments to academic medical centers. Concurrently, academic medical centers are charged increasingly higher rates for labor, drugs, medical devices, new technologies and information system upgrades. These reduced payments and increased expenses mean that many academic medical centers can no longer adequately support the costs of patient care, teaching and research.
ÂDespite struggling to reduce costs by improving efficiency and cutting back on some programs, academic medical centers may still be faced with an almost impossible choice,Â predicts Dr. Tamara Zemlo, Director of The Science Advisory Board, Âwhich one of our three missions should we eliminate?Â Since they are so interdependent, many in the health care community believe that one cannot be eliminated without severely impacting a centerÂs ability to fulfill its other two missions.
However members of The Science Advisory Board believe that when faced with such a tough decision, teaching and research should prevail. The debate then becomes who will provide complex tertiary care to the public and ensure the transition of new services and technologies into the mainstream health care delivery system?
ABOUT THE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD
The Science Advisory Board is an online panel of more than 13,400 scientists, physicians and other life science and medical professionals from 62 countries. By convening electronically, Science Advisory Board members participate in online studies to voice their opinions on issues that directly affect the evolution and development of the tools and techniques of their professions. The Science Advisory Board is currently conducting ongoing studies in other exciting areas of the life sciences. Scientists can contribute their own views on the tools and techniques of their field by participating at http://www. scienceboard. net (http://www. scienceboard. net). The Science Advisory Board was organized in 1997 by BioInformatics, LLC (http://www. gene2drug. com (http://www. gene2drug. com)), a research and consulting firm located in Arlington, VA.
Dr. Tamara Zemlo
Director, Scientific & Medical Communications
The Science Advisory Board
2111 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22201
703.525.3872 x360 phone
T. zemlo@scienceboard. net
Http://www. scienceboard. net (http://www. scienceboard. net)