Burdensome CMS policies tempering physician investment, exec says

David Hardin, MD, the chief of medical innovation at Healogic in Denver, spoke with Becker's ASC Review about how CMS policies are hindering physician investments and affecting care. 

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What's one regulatory change you wish CMS would implement to benefit physicians? 

Dr. David Hardin: I wish CMS would decrease the burden for physician-owned enterprises under Stark and Affordable Care Act prohibitions. With removal of physicians from healthcare investment, we have seen quality and patient care suffer with costs continuing to rise. This is worst in hospital services, as the largest sector of spending for healthcare. Data has shown physician-owned hospitals to be better for both patient care and costs of care.

Q: What's the biggest opportunity for growth for physicians in the next five years?

DH: Given the difficulty with regulation around government and other third-party payers, the biggest opportunities for growth exist in companies that contract directly with patients and employer groups. Cash-pay surgery centers, disease-specific Centers of Excellence and direct primary care all offer improved outcomes and lower cost by removing much of the administrative cost created through the traditional third-party payer system. Companies like Crossover Health, Walmart and the Surgery Center of Oklahoma are addressing these issues. Direct primary care, in particular, has built up a large grassroots foundation through organizations like the Direct Primary Care Alliance.

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