BACKGROUND: The financial impact of a family practice residency program on a sponsoring institution is poorly understood. This study intended to describe as fully as possible all the expenses and revenues from five community-based family practice residency programs in northeastern Ohio. METHODS: Direct and indirect expenses, revenues, and demographics were evaluated for 1992. Similarities and differences among the participating programs were examined. RESULTS: Overall expenses per resident were similar in all five programs, with a range from $162,000 to $203,000. Revenues reflected the number of residents in the program, although collection ratios varied. Inpatient collections ranged from 53%-76% and outpatient collections ranged from 60%-76%. An average of 30% of graduates from the past 10 years were on the active medical staff of their sponsoring institution, with a range of 21%-36%. CONCLUSION: Based on the expenses, revenues collected, and reasonable assumptions made about cost of care in the hospital setting, the family practice residencies are probably a break-even operation, excluding the benefit of providing primary care physicians to the community
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