Home > Health Law Reform -- General, Healthcare Business, Improving Healthcare, Medicare, Physician Practices, Politics, Regulation > “Physician-owned hospitals seize their moment” – amednews.com

“Physician-owned hospitals seize their moment” – amednews.com

Physician owned and operated facilities are not necessarily bad places to go for healthcare.

American Medical News, amednews.com, reported in April 29, 2013:

When the federal government sorted through the first round of clinical information it was using to reward hospitals for providing higher-quality care in December 2012, the No. 1 hospital on the list was physician-owned Treasure Valley Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Nine of the top 10 performing hospitals were physician-owned, as were 48 of the top 100.

Yet, physicians can no longer own hospitals to which they refer their patients and are severely restricted from expanding those hospitals whose physician ownership was grandfathered.

The continued distrust of physicians and their vilification by Congress and most every state legislature hurts healthcare.  It’s time to unburden physicians from lawyer mandated restrictions that never made any sense — repeal the Stark Law and every other restriction on physicians’ referring their patients to entities that they have an ownership in.  The laws and the regulations that have been put into place are beyond comprehension and require physicians who are trying to be compliant to spend unnecessary dollars on lawyers.  There are many appropriate tools for dealing with fraud and abuse by physicians who over utilize, or bill for services not performed, or who perform sub-par medicine — they can be professionally disciplined, lose their license, go to jail,  fined. On the private side, they can be sued.  Congress adopts these strict liability patient referral restrictions because they are easy to enforce.  That should not be the basis for interfering with an entire industry.

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