This was successfully posted to your pofile.
This box will close automatically in a few seconds. Close this window
We don't have an e-mail address on file for you. To use AAFP Connection, you must have an e-mail address in our records. Click Here
Study: BBA Cuts Hurt Teaching Hospitals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 30, 2004
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224
"Although our research findings support our hypothesis that the financial health of teaching hospitals has been affected by the BBA97, it suggests that other forces contributed as much or more," said Robert L. Phillips, Jr., MD, assistant director of the Center. "However, Medicare payments remain an important financial cushion for the survival of teaching hospitals."
The authors found that the role of Medicare in supporting graduate medical education (GME) has been substantially reduced since 1997. Medicare payments to teaching hospitals were designed to create incentives for those hospitals to serve Medicare beneficiaries and to support the training of physicians to meet beneficiaries' medical needs. However, between 1997 and 1999 total Medicare support for education fell by $350 million even as costs rose by $675 million.
The research revealed:
- Nearly 35 percent of teaching hospitals - 248 out of the 713 in the study - had negative operating margins in 1999.
- Teaching hospitals' total operating margins fell by more than 50 percent between 1996 and 1999, from 5.2 percent to 2.5 percent.
- More than one-third of teaching hospitals operated in the red.
- In contrast, the operating margins for the 108 family practice single-residency hospitals examined fell 21 percent on average. However, the proportion of these residency hospitals operating with negative total margins nearly tripled - from 12 percent operating in the red in 1996 to 30 percent in 1999.
"Both classes of teaching hospital are valuable resources that warrant specific monitoring and, perhaps, advocacy. The substantial declines in GME payments relative to steep GME cost increases mean that the role of Medicare in supporting this important function needs special attention in the overall debate," wrote the authors. They also pointed out the critical role of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in evaluating the effects of Medicare policy changes and called for more transparency in its methods.
# # #
Note to journalists: To interview Dr. Phillips, or to obtain a copy of the article, please contact Leslie Champlin at (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
The Robert Graham Center conducts research and analysis that brings a family practice perspective to health policy deliberations in Washington. Founded in 1999, the Center is an independent research unit working under the personnel and financial policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. For more information, please visit www.graham-center.org.
The information and opinions contained in research from the Robert Graham Center do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the AAFP.
Browse by Topic