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PHA Backs Repeal of Ban on Physician-Owned Hospitals

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2011

AHA has raised questions about financial conflicts of interests and the safety of physician-owned hospitals. PHA claims that the restrictions are about eliminating competition.

AHA, FAH, and others have complained to Congress that physician-owned hospitals cherrypick healthier, insured patients for higher reimbursement, and that self-referrals threaten community hospitals' ability to provide services such as emergency departments, NICUs, and burn units.

Critics of physician-owned hospitals also point to a Congressional Budget Office report showing  that cutbacks to physician-owned hospitals could save more than $2 billion for 10 years. Proponents of the physician-owned hospitals say the numbers are off-base.

There are 275 physician owned hospitals in 33 states that provide general acute care, long-term acute care, emergency medicine, multispecialty, women's, children's, rehabilitation and psychiatric.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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