Not all docs on­board

Doc groups take po­lar op­po­site po­si­tions on re­form

Modern Healthcare - - Editorial -

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.”

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