Physician-Owned Hospitals

1. There are now nearly 200 hospitals in the country with physician-ownership of one kind or another.
2. This compares with 5,500 to 6,000 ASCs. 1. There are now nearly 200 hospitals in the country with physician-ownership of one kind or another.

2. This compares with 5,500 to 6,000 ASCs.

3. About 35 to 50 of these physician-owned hospitals have a not-for-profit hospital as a partner as well.

4. Approximately 60 to 65 of these physician-owned hospital are focused fairly wholly on orthopedics or cardiovascular specialties.

5. Most physician-owned hospitals, like most general hospitals, need a strong presence in orthopedics or neurosurgery (spine) or cardiovascular to thrive.

6. Two of the biggest threats to physician-owned hospitals include increased employment of specialists by hospitals, and legislation that would prohibit physician-ownership of hospitals.

7. Any legislation is uncertain. If there is legislation, there is likely to be more favored status for existing or developing hospitals than for new hospitals. Any legislation that stalls the development and innovation of these hospitals is likely to result in long-term bad outcomes for the country's healthcare delivery system.

8. The legislative discussions don't tend to give any more protection to physician-owned general hospitals versus physician-owned specialty hospitals.

9. One great threat to specialty hospitals exists due to the sheer lack of their numbers. There aren't yet so many that they are a "protected" class in Washington DC.

10. The greatest growth of physician-owned hospitals is coming out of two places: first, ASC owners who see an opportunity to expand and better serve their patients; and second not-for-profit systems that view partnering with physicians as a terrific growth opportunity.

An eleventh concept one ought consider when reviewing the concerns that these hospitals harm community hospitals is as follows: U.S. community hospitals had their highest revenues ever in 2006 and their highest profit margins in at least the last five years. Modern Health Care reported the largest profit margin since a decade ago, showing total revenues at $587 billion and a record overall profit of $35 billion.

If you'd like to support physician development and growth of physician-owned hospitals, please e-mail Molly Sandvig or call her at (605) 321-3483. She serves as the executive director of the Physician Hospitals of America.

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