CMS stands firm on doc-owned hospital rule
The CMS gave no new ground on the healthcare reform law’s provision that strictly curtails physician-owned hospitals. In the final rule on hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgery center payments, the CMS made a few tweaks to the federal rules that curtail the expansion of physician-owned hospitals and tighten physician self-referral prohibitions and patient notification requirements.
Scott Christiansen, spokesman for the Physician Hospitals of America trade association, said in an e-mail that the rule doesn’t contain any “real changes or surprises,” and the CMS summarized that the tweaks conform to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“We also believe the new regulations will help minimize anticompetitive behavior that can affect the decision as to where a beneficiary receives healthcare services and would possibly enhance the services furnished,” the CMS said in the rule.
The document mostly deals with the processes a physician-owned hospital must go through to request exemptions to restrictions on self-referral and expansion and summarizes comments that the CMS received on proposals it made in July. The rule also includes provisions that physician-owned hospitals must