New Analysis of Health Reform Bills Shows Language to Limit Physician-Owned Hospitals Could Affect 70K Jobs

A new analysis of both the U.S. House's passed healthcare bill and the bill currently under debate in the U.S. Senate suggests that language in the bills intended to limit physician-owned hospitals could affect nearly 70,000 jobs and reduce state and local economic activity by $5 billion, according to a Physician Hospitals of America news release.

Physician-owned hospitals are projected to employ more than 70,000 people in 2010, with a payroll of more than $2.4 billion. Physician-owned hospitals also contribute $1.9 billion annually to the economy in the form of trade payables and pay nearly $2.6 million annually in taxes, according to the release. According to the PHA, unless the language limiting the growth of physician-owned hospitals is removed from the bills the impact on state and local economies could reach nearly $5 billion.

Language in both bills limits the growth of physician-owned hospitals unless they meet four key criteria. The analysis, which was performed by John Schneider, PhD, a health economist, found that none of the country's more than 200 physician-owned hospitals met all four of the criteria required for growth. Only 2 percent of non-physician owned hospitals meet the growth requirements, according to the analysis. However, non-physician-owned hospitals are not required to meet the four criteria in order to grow or expand facilities or services. The PHA calls such requirements "artificial."

"The provision would destroy over 200 of America's best and safest hospitals, resulting in the loss of more healthcare jobs and more economic hardship in communities in America that are already suffering the effects of the recession," Molly Sandvig, executive director of PHA, said in the release.

Read the PHA release on the economic impact of physician-owned hospitals (pdf).

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