Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hospitals trying to make the rules so their rivals won't

Physician owned hospitals are under attack from general acute care hospitals with whom they compete. The Chamber of Commerce is writing Congress on the side of the general hospitals:
...physician owners ... “cherry pick” the most profitable patient cases to hospitals in which they have a financial interest, while relegating to hospitals serving the general public more complicated and poorly reimbursed cases. Just as it is appropriate to adjust hospital payments to compensate for more complicated cases, it is imperative that Medicare not inappropriately overpay, particularly if some providers are manipulating shortcomings in Medicare’s centralized payment structure.

If left unchecked, the prognosis for continued physician self-referral is bleak: increased and unnecessary utilization of medical services will inflate premium costs to employers; raise theoverall cost of health care for all Americans; and diminish access to quality medical care for communities.

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