Because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as well as the HITECH Act, the healthcare sector has seen a changing landscape of services and other processes within the industry. With the number of alterations increasing, physicians and other healthcare workers will need to gain further instruction, either from healthcare consulting services or continuing education classes.
However, in 2011, drug manufacturers cut back on funding continuing medical education (CME) grants, which will be detrimental for doctors, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and any other healthcare professional looking to further their education.
Despite the fact that the pharmaceutical industry cut only 3 percent in CME funding in 2010, the drug manufacturers have come back slashing funds by almost four times as much in 2011.
Medical Marketing and Media reported that the pharmaceutical industry has been cutting back funding for CME projects for the last four years. In fact, when the numbers are added up, Big Pharma has reduced CME revenue by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.
In 2011, $94 million has been cut from sponsoring CME classes and programs. With the drop in funding, 72,000 fewer physicians attended continuing education courses - a likely outcome from the increased fees asked of doctors attending CME classes.
"In 2011, the majority of CME activities (79 percent) did not receive commercial support, accounting for approximately 80 percent of physician participants and 75 percent of nonphysician participants," a report released by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) stated. "Twenty-one percent of CME activities did receive commercial support, bringing in approximately 20 percent of physician participants and 25 percent of nonphysician participants."
Physicians will need guidance in implementing new systems and processes in the changing healthcare field. While taking continuing education classes may be cost-prohibitive, a hospital consultant can help healthcare executives meet meaningful use requirements under the HITECH Act and follow regulations according to the Affordable Care Act.