New bill intends to repeal limits on physician-owned hospitals

May 28, 2017

(HealthDay)—A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would repeal the federal law essentially banning construction of physician-owned hospitals and making it difficult for these facilities to grow, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The bill, introduced by Sam Johnson (R-Texas), has bipartisan support, with more than 50 co-sponsors, and has has been referred to the Energy and Commerce and the Ways and Means Subcommittees on Health.

Physician-owned hospitals provide the highest quality of care to patients, and are consistently among the top hospitals recognized for and under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-administered Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. Seven of the top 10 performing hospitals and 40 of the top 100 performing hospitals were physician-owned in the 2017 rankings, despite accounting for 5 percent of hospitals that participate in the VBP. On analysis of CMS payment data, physician-owned hospitals were found to have saved Medicare $3.2 billion over a 10-year period.

"Your bill would level the playing field, allowing physician-owned hospitals to remain competitive, continue their solid record of providing the highest quality of health care to patients, and contribute significantly to the communities they serve," James L. Madara, M.D., of the AMA, wrote in a letter to Rep. Johnson, according to the report.

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