Published 2/17/2017

AAOS applauds House for introducing legislation to lift hospital ban

Washington, D.C. (February 17, 2017) — The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) applauds Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) for introducing the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2017, which would repeal Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and lift a ban on creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals. Specifically, the legislation would reverse restrictions that currently prevent any new physician-owned hospitals from participating in Medicare or Medicaid and prevent existing physician-owned hospitals from expanding. These restrictions must be lifted to ensure Medicare patients have access to high-quality health care, as these hospitals provide some of the highest quality care in the country.[1] Physician-owned hospitals also inject much-needed competition into the marketplace, forcing traditional hospitals to improve and innovate.
“Hospitals owned by physicians are currently restricted under law from expanding their capacity to treat more patients,” stated Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD, President of AAOS. “These physician-led, patient centric hospitals consistently rank higher under current quality measures than other hospitals and include seven out of the top ten hospitals in the country. They also save Medicare money - $3.2 billion over ten years – and inject funds into local economic activity. The inability of physician-owned hospitals to address growing demand for health care services is bad for our entire health care system and penalizes patients who deserve the right to receive care at the hospital of their choice. We thank Reps. Johnson and Jackson-Lee for their leadership on this issue and implore Congress to lift the restrictions on physician-owned hospitals so more patients can benefit from them.”
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Kristen Coultas