Bill Introduced to Improve Access to Physician-owned Hospitals
Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) (@physicianhosp) applauds Senator James Lankford (R-OK) for introducing important legislation that will improve patient access to physician-led hospitals. The Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2017 would repeal the ban on physician-owned hospitals enacted in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. This important bill – a companion to H.R. 1156 introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) in the U.S. House of Representatives – lifts restrictions on the formation and expansion of these high-quality, low-cost facilities. “We applaud Senator Lankford for supporting high-quality, more affordable care options for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Once enacted, this bill will improve patient access, increase quality and competition, and lower the cost of care,” stated Dr. Blake Curd, President of Physician Hospitals of America.
Dr. Curd added, “Medicare and Medicaid patients deserve access to physician-owned hospitals because we are among the highest quality performers in the nation,” based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding overall quality, value-based purchasing (VBP), and readmissions.
The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program administered by CMS rewards hospitals for high quality of care and patient satisfaction. In FY 2017, 7 of the top 10 hospitals with the highest overall performance in the program were physician-owned. In fact, 40 of the top 100 performing hospitals in the CMS VBP program in FY 2017 are physician-owned, although they represent only 5% of participating hospitals. Physician-owned hospitals also result in significant savings for Medicare. An analysis of CMS payment data demonstrated that physician-owned hospitals save Medicare $3.2 billion over a 10-year period.
Dr. Frederic Liss, a PHA Board Member, noted that physician-owned hospitals “stand ready to enhance choice and competition for patients,” in an increasingly consolidated hospital environment. He added that “physician-led patient care allows for greater innovation in health services and enhances the doctor-patient relationship.”
Physician Hospitals of America is joined in its support for Senator Lankford’s legislation by dozens of other leading national and state healthcare organizations. See the list of stakeholders who recently co-signed a letter of support for this important legislation.
Physician Hospitals of America, or PHA, offers support, advocacy and educational services to the physician owned hospital industry, reflecting at all times the best interests of the patients, physicians, and other providers who play an inextricable and essential role in the provision of healthcare services.