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NC lawmakers: Surgery centers would provide alternative to high hospital bills

News & Observer, March 13, 2013

Hospitals could face significantly more competition for routine surgeries under a bill that proponents say could save N.C. patients and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. N.C. House Bill 177, sponsored by three Republicans, would make it easier for physicians to open same-day surgery centers, offices that typically charge far less than hospitals for outpatient procedures. Introduced two weeks ago, the legislation is already facing stiff opposition from the state's powerful hospital industry. The N.C. Hospital Association contends the bill would benefit a few doctors at the expense of hospitals, but would not cut costs or save state money.