A plan to phase out the American Hospital Association's annual late summer meeting and convention was approved by the AHA's board of trustees last week.
Starting in 1997, the AHA's revamped annual meeting likely will be scheduled in the spring and won't include a trade show, said Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president for communications.
"The part of the convention that's been the economic problem has been the trade show," Wade said.
The move had been anticipated for several months. As the AHA's nine regional policy boards debated the convention's future, other groups rescheduled meetings previously held in conjunction with it, and the AHA board drafted a bylaw change allowing the association's House of Delegates to convene via teleconference.
Attendance at the annual summer meeting has dwindled in recent years, and the AHA's annual winter meeting in late January in Washington has become the group's flagship gathering.
Wade said the 1996 meeting and convention in Philadelphia may serve as a "transitional" meeting at which the association will experiment with new meeting formats. He said a final decision on the Philadelphia convention likely will be made by June 1.
In other AHA board news, trustees instructed their executive committee to study the implications of competing hospital accreditation programs as recently proposed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.