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Hospitals go on the defensive

Maya Goldman
Mar 30, 2023
Illustration of a distressed hospital sign with the arrow portion detaching and swinging downwards

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Hospitals are paying attention to lawmakers’ growing interest in health care transparency and consumer costs — and they appear to be getting worried.

Driving the news: The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals released an analysis this week that found physician-owned hospitals cherry-pick more profitable and less medically complex patients.

What they’re saying: “If there was ever any doubt, the evidence against POHs is as crystal clear today as it was when Congress passed the self-referral ban in 2010,” Chip Kahn, president of the FAH, said in a news release.

  • “Weakening or unwinding the current ban opens the door further to the very behaviors that Congress sought to prevent,” he added.

Our thought bubble: Policies expanding physician-owned hospitals, site-neutral payments and 340B reform face long odds in the current Congress, but they’re gathering more momentum and bipartisan support.

  • If hospitals are concerned enough to commission analyses backing their own positions, it's worth keeping an eye on how discussions about physician-owned hospitals, site-neutral payment and more develop.
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