Within the academic medical community, there is concern about the future economic viability of teaching hospitals. Numerous studies, congressional hearings, and conferences have explored the problem of how teaching hospitals can cope with a changing financial environment. At the same time, investor-owned chains are actively acquiring teaching hospitals and paying premium prices for these institutions. Although the phenomenon is relatively new, if it grows, it could have important public-policy ramifications for medical education, biomedical research, and the development and testing of new medical technology. In recent months several sales or leases of major university-affiliated teaching hospitals to proprietary chains have.
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