During the first six months of the year 2000, we have been reminded of the many promises and challenges embedded in the world of health care. On the one hand, hospitals throughout Massachusetts and the nation have struggled under increasingly pressing financial issues. Yet, at the same time, we have witnessed enormous forward strides in research and patient care.
At BWH, we have witnessed a steady growth in volume and acuity levels while watching a slow erosion of support from traditional payers, such as Medicare, Medicaid and managed care organizations. As a result, our success at attracting more patients has been buffered by declining rates of reimbursements.
At BWH, we have also seen a record year of research support. In 1999, BWH ranked second only to MGH among hospitals receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health, garnering more than $146 million. Our reputation for exceptional research continues to draw investigators who are pushing the limits of science every day.
The activity level at the hospital continues to move forward on the administrative front as well. Last month alone, we saw the formation of the Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization (BWPO) to be chaired by Dr. Lawrence Cohn, chief, Cardiac Surgery. We played host to Governor Paul Cellucci, who reinforced the state’s commitment to the prevention of domestic violence through his visit to Brookside Community Health Center and we honored 16 special caregivers with the first ever Thomson Compassionate Care scholarships.
During this time, we also cared for patients in growing numbers while engaging in dialogue to educate our payers about the significant financial challenges facing doctors in Boston and throughout the state. The next several months will be pivotal as we elevate the debate of sound health care and financial fairness. We need your continued support.