The state of physician-owned hospitals: 5 key notes

Here are five key notes on the state of physician-owned hospitals:

1. There are more than 250 physician-led hospitals in the U.S., according to a report from Physician-Led Healthcare for America.

2. Physician-owned hospitals saved $1.1 billion in 2019 compared to traditional facilities, according to a report analyzing the cost of 20 of the most expensive conditions for Medicare patients. Payments for some of the most expensive diagnostic groups were 8% to 15% lower in POHs than traditional facilities. 

3. Physician-owned hospitals have lower commercial and cash prices for common services than traditional hospitals, according to a June study published in JAMA Network Open. For example, median commercial and cash prices for spinal injections were 25% lower at POHs and 5% lower at non-POHs.

4. Hospital groups are pushing back against efforts to eliminate Medicare's ban on physician self-referral to new POHs, which was enacted in 2010 by the Affordable Care Act. In an October blog post, American Hospital Association Executive Vice President Stacey Hughes and Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn outlined their argument in five points. 

5. Physician-owned hospitals have worse readmission and Medicare quality measures than community hospitals, according to an analysis from the American Hospital Association. The analysis found that POHs have lower Medicaid discharges as percent of total discharges, lower percent of Medicare inpatient claims with emergency room services, lower percent of Medicare inpatient claims for patients with dual eligibility and lower percent of Medicare inpatient claims for patients 85 or older. 

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