Florida providers want proposal for orthopedic hospital rejected, citing financial hit

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Healthcare providers, including Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Fla., are calling on regulators to reject a proposal to build a 24-bed orthopedic hospital, according to The Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach County commissioners are set to vote July 22 on the proposal. Under the plan, 29 local orthopedic surgeons would build and operate a 24-bed microhospital west of Delray Beach, Fla. The surgeons said their hospital will offer more specialized care to patients than the surrounding hospitals. 

However, Delray Medical Center argued that the commissioners should reject the proposal because it would have a negative financial impact for hospitals in the area and may result in patient harm.

Specifically, Louis Tumminia, DO, president of the medical staff at Delray, argued that the specialty hospital would draw patients with private and commercial insurance away from the hospitals, which would generate "high levels of income for the physician investors," according to the report. Dr. Tumminia also raised concerns of how the specialty hospital would treat complications if they arise in its emergency room.

The Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla., also is calling on county commissioners to reject the proposal, citing concerns about the proposed facility only accepting patients with high-end commercial insurance. The center also said the specialty hospital may hurt the finances of community hospitals. 

Although both organizations said the medical center won't accept lower-reimbursing insurances, the surgeons said they will "absolutely" accept Medicare patients once CMS allows the surgical facility to do so. 

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