Healthcare Realty Execs Debate Future of Physician-Owned Hospitals
Construction and expansion has continued for physician-owned hospitals that were Medicare-certified by Dec. 31, 2010 — but the future of the ownership model is still uncertain, as opponents continue to criticize the potential "conflict of interest" physicians may face.
In an editorial for Healthcare Finance News, James Ellis, CEO, and Aaron Razavi, associate marketing director at Health Care Realty Development, discussed the future of physician-owned hospitals.
According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, no physician-own hospitals may open or expand, with the exception of those Medicare-certified before Dec. 31, 2010. Critics say physician-owned hospitals select the healthiest and highest-reimbursed patients to increase profits, leaving low-reimbursed and unhealthy patients for acute-care hospitals.
Opponents have also criticized physician-owned hospitals for the possibility of increased utilization of medical services, due to the ownership stake physicians have in the facility. At the same time, studies from Physician Hospitals of America have shown high levels of patient satisfaction, possibly due to the lack of administrative barriers at these facilities.
Mr. Ellis and Mr. Razavi questioned whether physician-owned hospitals should be allowed to expand, a move that could generate new positions for healthcare workers and stimulate local economies.
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