CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Warns of Negative Impacts of Health Care Reform on Academic Medical Centers and Medical Innovation

Dr. Herbert Pardes calls for more doctors, attention to burdens of growing baby boomer and undocumented population and HHS action to ensure cost reductions do not impact care and research

Mar 31, 2011, 13:33 ET from Dr. Herbert Pardes

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, the nation's largest nonprofit, non-sectarian hospital, called for increased attention to health care reform efforts that may inadvertently damage American academic medical centers, which provide the bulk of medical innovation and new life-savings techniques. His remarks were delivered at the National Press Club here today.

"In 2014, 32 million more Americans will have health insurance and will need access to care, while vast numbers of baby boomers reach retirement age, and face the increased medical needs - 72 million of them by 2020. This growth will place unprecedented demands on the health care workforce," said Dr. Pardes. "The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 130,000 physicians by 2025.  It takes 10 years to train a new doctor.  We need at least 6,000 to 8,000 new physicians annually on top of the 16,000 that are currently produced each year."

Dr. Pardes noted that the three main themes of health reform – increasing access, improving quality, and reducing costs – are best addressed by academic medical centers, which are well positioned to help lead the health reform transformations.

Dr. Pardes also warned against cost reductions that would potentially hurt academic medical centers already bearing a heavy burden, since they currently treat a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients.  "Academic centers treat the largest number of the most vulnerable and provide 41% of charity care, 28% of Medicaid, and 22% of Medicare.

"Also, the failure to cover the undocumented will impose an ongoing burden for hospitals – estimated to be $6.4 billion in 2000 – and compromise some of the laudable goals of health reform," said Dr. Pardes.  

A complete copy of Dr. Pardes' remarks is available.

Photos of today's event are available.

About Dr. Herbert Pardes

Dr. Pardes has served as dean of Columbia University's medical school, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, president of the American Psychiatric Association, and assistant U.S. surgeon general.

SOURCE Dr. Herbert Pardes