Not all docs onboard
Doc groups take polar opposite positions on reform
Depending on which physician group’s news release you read, the recently passed healthcare reform legislation represents a “monumental moment,” “half-baked” legislation that will be a “budget buster” for Medicaid programs or “aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer.”
Many doctors, meanwhile, are still struggling to find out what reform will mean for them and what effect it will have on their daily lives and the operation of their practices. Also, there are aspects of the bill—such as restrictions on physician hospital ownership—that received scant attention during the months of heated debate but now threaten to doom clinically and economically successful enterprises.
“The passage of the healthcare reform bill will have a devastating impact on physician-owned hospi- tals, the patients they treat and the communities they serve,” said Molly Sandvig, executive director of the Physicians Hospitals of America lobbying group, in an e-mail. “The legislation virtually destroys over 60 hospitals that are currently under development, and leaves little room for the future growth of the industry.”
John Dietz is an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital, a 37-bed, 10-operating room facility in Indianapolis that Dietz owns with 62 other doctors. He said, despite scoring high on quality and patient-satisfaction measures, it will be tough for the operation to survive within the limits placed on physician-owned facilities by the new reform law because it will limit the hospital’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions. As Dietz explained, the new law will severely restrict physician
Weiss: Maintenance program a “driving force for quality.”