Under Obamacare, physician-owned hospitals (POHs) are prohibited from expanding while their competitors remain free to do so. Physicians and their financiers lost millions of dollars when 30 expansion projects already underway were scuttled by the Affordable Care Act. Only a handful of doctor-owned hospitals will ever qualify for the exceptions to the expansion ban in the ACA. Most will never add another bed or operating room. The benefit to their more politically-connected competitors is clear, but the discrimination against POHs makes no rational or policy sense whatsoever.
POHs are widely recognized as some of the best hospitals in the country, providing demonstrably better patient outcomes and quality (e.g., lower readmission rates), at lower cost. Yet, they are prohibited from expanding on pain of losing their Medicare license.
The POH restrictions in the ACA were born of cronyism. It’s time to rip them out, root and branch. Strike a blow for economic freedom and for – what seems to have been forgotten in the whole Obamacare mess – better patient care.
The Truth Squad invites anyone and everyone to write in and tell us why physician-owned hospitals should be restricted from expanding when other hospitals are not. Why shouldn’t every hospital have to compete on a level playing field? Why is the game rigged in favor of those with the most powerful friends in Washington? Oh, and what business does Washington have attempting to structure an entire industry in the first place, hmm?