Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., teamed with Brian Miller, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, to pen a column for The Wall Street Journal calling for an end to the ban on physician-owned hospitals.
The ACA placed a moratorium on new physician-owned hospitals that also prevented existing facilities from expanding. Mr. Lankford and Dr. Miller contended the legislation limits competition and access to care.
"Many for-profit and nonprofit hospitals are saving lives and caring for families. But recent research affirms the power of American entrepreneurship to lower costs and improve quality. Doctors, whether at the bedside or the forefront of scientific innovation, are well-suited to reimagine healthcare operations, lower costs and improve the quality of care," they wrote.
The column, published Feb. 20, also notes the high levels of consolidation among hospitals as independent facilities and small chains are struggling financially and joining large hospital chains with out-of-state management. Mr. Lankford and Dr. Miller argue allowing physician-owned hospitals in rural communities would provide another, hyper-local option to care.
Mr. Lankford is among the legislators introducing the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act to allow for physician-owned hospitals.
"The federal government doesn't prohibit plumbers from owning plumbing companies, radio hosts from owning radio stations or farmers from owning farmers markets. It's time to reopen the free market in healthcare and let the power of competition do its work," they wrote.