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New Rules Will End Doctor-Owned Hospitals

October 4, 2010

Hand surgeon Frederic Liss sees the new doctor-owned hospital that he and 24 fellow physicians will open in Royersford, PA, as just what the country’s troubled health care system needs, even though the recent health care reform law takes a decidedly different view, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Rear Admiral Kenneth J. Braithwaite, CEO of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of The Hospital and HealthSystem Association of Pennsylvania, a regional group representing full-service hospitals, doesn’t see it the same way. “These hospitals become very lucrative because they take better-paying patients and service lines,” Braithwaite said of the doctor-owned facilities. “That undermines the general acute-care hospital that provides services across the continuum of care.”

Critics also say that doctors are more likely to recommend procedures and tests when they profit from them. Independent surgeons are paid a surgical fee regardless of where they work, but they also make money from the hospitalization when they own the building, the newspaper article said.

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