Your article "Unclear visions for the future" (May 6, p. 76) portrayed certain eye and ear hospitals in the United States as being unprepared for the rapidly evolving landscape of today's healthcare industry. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals comprises the 18 premier centers for specialized eye and ear procedures in the world. Association members are major referral centers, offer some of the most innovative teaching programs in the country, and routinely treat the most severely ill eye and ear patients. The mission of these specialty institutions requires them to maintain leading-edge technologies that enable them to provide highly specialized services not available in general acute-care hospitals.
Eye and ear hospitals have led the way as providers of first-class, high-quality, cost-effective outpatient healthcare services. As evidence of the level of excellent care they provide, for the past five years U.S. News and World Report has selected many of our members as being among "America's Best Hospitals" in the specialties of ophthalmology and otolaryngology.
Eye and ear hospitals' cost-saving and quality-care techniques are real, quantifiable and truly innovative. The association's members understand the need for cost-effective hospital operations. At the same time, they continue to provide the highest quality of care possible for the patients they have served over the years.
American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals, New York