January 11, 2013
By Ben Daniels*
Teaching Hospitals Credited with Contributing $587 Billion to the U.S. Economy
Becker's Hospital Review (1/10) and Healthcare Finance News (1/9) reported that according to a study conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), U.S. teaching hospitals and medical schools contributed some $587 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011. The study analyzed 133 medical schools and 255 teaching hospitals in 46 states. The study further noted that U.S. teaching hospitals and medical schools directly and indirectly supported an estimated 3.5 million jobs in 2011. The AAMC findings illustrate a 15% increase in economic impact since 2009.
Beth Israel Launches an ACO System
The Boston Globe (1/9) reported that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is among the 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week. The BIDMC's ACO, named Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, was formed in conjunction the BIDMC's physician group and other hospitals. BIDMC and the Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization have agreed to invest $12 million into the ACO each year for the next five years. The investments will focus on care management and infrastructure improvements designed to promote improvement in care with an emphasis on wellness over treatment. (Note: registration may be required to access this article.)
Pharma Partnering with Top Universities and Colleges
ABC News (1/10) reported that major pharmaceutical companies are entering into new partnerships with America's top research universities to tap on-campus innovation and research capabilities. The pharmaceutical companies are offering institutions multi-million dollar deals to develop experimental drugs. The increasing numbers of partnerships between the industry and academic medical centers has some concerned that the dollars may interfere with pure scientific pursuit. However, others argue that the arrangements align incentives by giving the pharmaceutical companies access to top researchers while allowing the universities to access much-needed financial support to fund their research efforts.
Memorial Hospital and Care New England Plan to Partner to Achieve Success
The Valley Breeze (1/8) reported that independent community teaching hospital, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, announced plans to partner with Care New England to achieve success under the changing paradigm of healthcare delivery. Care New England is a healthcare system that includes Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, and Women and Infants Hospital. Memorial Hospital and Care New England intend to work together to move Memorial Hospital away from fee-for-service models that have presented the hospital with financial challenges over the last several years. Both parties anticipate that the partnership will go live this summer.
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Stem Cell Case
Medpage Today (1/8) reported that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear a case challenging federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. The denial serves to uphold a ruling by the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which overturned a lower court ruling that blocked National Institutes of Health-supported embryonic stem cell research. The challenge was brought by researchers who advocate the use of adult, as opposed to embryonic, stem cells. The roots of the controversy lie in President Barack Obama's March 2009 executive order, which lifted the restrictions on use of embryonic stem cells for research imposed by an executive order issued by former President George W. Bush.
*We would like to thank Ben M. Daniels, Esquire (Foley & Lardner LLP, Boston, MA), for providing this week's update.