While the AHSCs are likely to survive, their form and fabric are likely to change dramatically in the new order. Any solutions to the problems of the AHSCs have to include the community hospital stakeholders, especially the evolving regional teaching hospitals. This applies not only to patient care but also to the potential teaching and research (clinical trials) contributions of the community/regional players. There must also be more involvement by non-medical faculties in defining the vision, mission and values of the AHSC.
Federal funding should be available not only to enhance the research activity of the AHSCs and the regional partners but also to provide the informatic linkages between players. Alternative funding programs for academic physicians along with enhanced productivity measures in areas of patient care, education and research are important in order to level the playing field not only with respect to remuneration but also with respect to other incentives such as recognition and promotion.
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