At the Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital here, construction workers scrambled on a recent day to turn a mud pit into a parking lot and put other finishing touches on the $35 million physician-owned facility.
They are on a tight deadline. The health care overhaul law closes the door on future physician-owned hospitals, requiring new ones to be open and certified by Medicare by Dec. 31. Otherwise, they'll be barred from taking part in Medicare, the health program for the elderly, as well as other federal health programs. That would be a fatal blow to most hospitals because about half of their revenue comes from those programs.