Physician-Owned Hospitals Don’t Exclude Sicker Patients

Physician-owned hospitals have been accused of selecting only certain type patients or limiting the procedures they will perform, leaving other hospitals with more sick and poor patients. A recent independent study has found that whereas a small percent of the physician-owned hospitals are more specialized, lacking emergency services and 24-hour staff, the majority offer services similar to a community hospital. The proportions of Medicaid patients, racial minorities, sicker patients, and quality of care also are nearly identical. Obamacare regulations have banned new physician-owned hospitals from opening, however legislation has been presented in the House to lift these restrictions. The American Hospital Association opposes lifting this ban, stating that these facilities are impacting their finances, yet the study found only six percent of hospital admissions at doctor-owned facilities were Medicare patients. Dr. R. Blake Curd, president of Physician Hospitals of America, is encouraged by the study and believes the Senate will propose a bill to reevaluate policy.
Rau, Jordan. “Doctor-Owned Hospitals Are Not Cherry-Picking Patients, Study Finds.” News. Kaiser Health News, 3 Sep 2015. Web. 8 Sep 2015.

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