60 Hospitals Cancelled Due to New Obama Health Law


obama-health-careCNS News reports: The new health care overhaul law – that promised increased access and efficiency in health care – will prevent doctor-owned hospitals from adding more rooms and more beds.

These hospitals are advertised as less bureaucratic and more focused on doctor-patient decision making. However, larger corporate hospitals say doctor-owned facilities discriminate in favor of high-income patients and refer business to themselves.

The new rules single out physician-owned hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Existing doctor-owned hospitals will be grandfathered in to get government funds for patients but must seek permission from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand.

The get the department’s permission, a doctor-owned hospital must be in a county where population growth is 150 percent of the population growth of the state in the last five years; impatient admissions must be equal to all hospitals located in the county; the bed occupancy rate must not be greater than the state average, and it must be located in a state where hospital bed capacity is less than the national average.

These rules are under Title VI, Section 6001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The provision is titled “Physician Ownership and Other Transparency – Limitations on Medicare Exceptions to the Prohibition on Certain Physician Referral for Hospitals.”

More than 60 doctor-owned hospitals across the country that were in the development stage will be canceled, said Molly Sandvig, executive director of Physician Hospitals of America (PHA).

“That’s a lot of access to communities that will be denied,” Sandvig told CNSNews.com. “The existing hospitals are greatly affected. They can’t grow. They can’t add beds. They can’t add rooms. Basically, it stifles their ability to change and meet market needs. This is really an unfortunate thing as well, because we are talking about some of the best hospitals in the country.”

The organization says physician-owned hospitals have higher patient satisfaction, greater control over medical decisions for patients and doctor, better quality care and lower costs. Further, physician-owned hospitals have an average 4-1 patient-to-nurse ratio, compared to the national average of 8-1 for general hospitals.

Further, these 260 doctor-owned hospitals in 38 states provide 55,000 jobs, $2.4 billion in payroll and pay $509 million in federal taxes, according to the PHA.

In one ironic aspect, President Barack Obama’s two largest legislative achievements clashed. The Hammond Community Hospital in North Hammond, Ind., got $7 million in bond money from the federal stimulus act in 2009. It will likely be scrapped because of the new rules on physician-owned hospitals, according to the Post-Tribune newspaper in Merrillville, Ind.

These hospitals have long been a target of the American Hospital Association, which represents corporate-owned hospitals as well as non-profit hospitals.

An AHA study from 2008 says that physician-owned hospitals “lessen patient access to emergency and trauma case;” “damage the financial health of full-service hospitals and lead to cutbacks in service;” “are not more efficient than full service community hospitals;” “use physician-owners to steer patients;” “cherry pick the most profitable patients;” and “provide limited or no emergency services.”

Meanwhile, one AHA fact sheet asserts that physician-owned orthopedic and surgical hospitals costs are 20 percent to 30 percent higher than average hospitals. Further, these hospitals just lead to higher profits for doctors, the AHA asserts.

“We don’t cherry pick patients, period, end of story. We take patients based on their need for care, not on their ability to pay,” Sandvig said. “It [the health care reform] puts control outside the hand of physicians and patients and into bureaucrats’ hands really.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is one of many organizations suing to have the law declared unconstitutional on the grounds that the federal government cannot compel someone to buy a product.

While the provision on physician hospitals is not part of the lawsuit, it will affect it, Dr. said Jane Orient, AAPS executive director.

“If the law is declared unconstitutional, then the prohibition is part of the bill,” Orient told CNSNews.com. “There are vested interests in getting rid of physician-owned hospitals because they do a better job and are more affordable.”

The provision in the legislation and efforts opposing these hospitals can be simply explained from Sandvig’s view.

“It’s anti-competitive. I think it’s pretty clear,” Sandvig said. “We’re a model that makes sense that’s affecting innovation. We’re trying to do something better than it has been done. Anytime you do that, there’s going to be a clash between the existing and the new. Unfortunately, it’s a real David and Goliath battle.”

{CNS News/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. We don’t need new hospitals. We need new primary care physicians – that is, your good old family doctor. We have plenty of hospitals – many of them are partly empty, and they’re competing with each other.

    We don’t have family doctors because medical education has gotten so expensive that new doctors have to go into higher paying specialties to pay off their student loans. Primary care doctors are less expensive than specialists, they actually know who you are without looking it up in the chart, and their most important job is KEEPING YOU OUT of the hospital by giving good care as soon as you need it.

    Sure, having some hospitals is vitally necessary, but we don’t need one on every block. We do need emough familiy doctors so that we get good all-around care all the time, not just a fancy specialist when things have already gone far wrong.

  2. As long as govt is involved, it will be to the advantage of states to have as many $charges$ for specialists as possible. This is about promoting “misery for profit”, not about providing medical care. So much money will disappear and no one will know where it went. It will be an insider joke and politicians will redicule the tax payer behind closed doors for being so stupid that they can get away with this. The special interests cannot get rich if patients have options and the alternative of seeing a competetive, competent, innovative, private practitioner who guarantees their confidentiality by not participating in the electronic records system and turning their info over to govt as will be required “once funding becomes available”.
    I will not renew my DOH licenses. The best and brightest practitioners have options other than medicine. It is already becoming difficult for me to make referrals as so many gifted colleagues see the writing on the wall and are no longer in practice.
    The state will set quotas of how many warm bodies to graduate to meet industry demand. This is accomplished by lowering educational standards. There will be students graduated from chemistry classes who do not know H2O is water. When even that fails, positions will be filled by foreigners, many of who do not speak English. Have you ever been a patient in a hospital where nurses do not speak English?! Every question is answered, “yes”. Just try to get some one to understand that you are not being given the correct medication! More employment slots can be filled by ignoring the fact that certain health professionals have substance abuse problems. They get their drugs by stealing them from patients. Further, when there is no incentive to be productive and efficient, sanitaion drops and diseases like MRSA become rampant. Every kind of problem will worsen under govt oversight.
    If you want to hear horror stories about socialized medicine ask what happens when anaesthetics are rationed or considered an unjustifiable expense. Or maybe they are administered at the conveninece of employees and if your surgery is delayed and your anaethesizia wears off, it is your tough luck.
    Further, one doctor in a socialist country told me that the reason there are no waiting lists is because when they are full it “looks” bad, so doctors are told not to add more people to the list.
    When I was diagnosed with locally advanced cancer and considered going to Canada for treatment that was unavail in the US, this is what I was told over a decade ago… They love to have American patients because they bring American dollars. However, I would have to wait at least 6 months to a year. The situation has not improved.
    As more money goes to government there is less for the kind of private investment that creates real jobs. The result is despair and more substance abuse when people feel they no longer make their own decisions, control their own lives or decide how to spend their own money.
    Now, for the good news. Because the US medical system has considerable resources, it will take about a decade for it to break down and become almost completely dysfunctional. There will be fewer working machines and less maintenance of remaining machines. Some staff doctors will stay on until retirement. A number of people will still try to make things work before they give up. Further there are still medical resources in the underground economy that will keep some people who can pay healthy and give the appearance of succcess. Many will pay into the system, but not every one will use the system.

  3. Truth be told this is all so confusing, why is the health system, lets say in canada or england so much worse off then ours? and they are 65 years hence the system, I mean it does sound like they got major waiting lists in their hospitals and practices e.t.c. But from what I read, most life and death situations do get the proper care and attention, with very little waiting lists, and I think there are some benefits, in their system too, for instance the system cant afford to just carry out unnecessary tests, which are part of the guidelines in the u.s., in order to feed the consensus which at times could be very expensive on a patient in the u.s.a. The trauma could cause alot of unnecessary stress on a patient, and the current u.s system is so expensive, with many people unable to afford it, just dying in the long run from their condition, I for one know somebody who has a serious kidney problem, and he’s not covered anymore, due to loosing his job which included health insurance, and he does not go to a doctor regularly like he should! so why is the current system so much greater then the social system in canada and england? Which B.t.w. Also have top specialists! Lets look at the situation this way, from a medical professionals perspective, well he aint to happy with the new health care reform, because his profits are going to plummet now, and pharmicutcal interests groups oh my, their huge 500% profits which is almost like day light robbery is going to get exposed now, and so they are hiring lawyers and suing, and controlling talk show hosts, and convincing everyone, that we are going to turn into a socialist communist country, as a result of this new system, but its alot of fabrications, and misinformation, not that Obamas system is perfect in any way, and there are plenty of flaws and lies he’s spreading too, but fact remains that his clientele are poorer and less intelligent then the wealthy pharmacutical and doctors unions selling their lies, with alot less argument. Lets not forget that 30 million americans are not covered and are gonna die much earlier without a solution in place, and so that to me sounds way worse then a terribly long waiting list its better to be covered then not be covered at all, no?

  4. “and your anaethesizia wears off, it is your tough luck.”

    How strange: Georgie tells us that he is a medical “professional” [“I will not renew my DOH licenses”] and yet he cannot even spell “anaesthesia” (English spelling) or “anesthesia” (American spelling) correctly.

    Georgie does not promote himself very well, does he?

    BTW, what is “locally advanced cancer”?