Healthcare Business News

Doc-owned hospitals worth the fight

Posted: October 25, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

On behalf of our physician partners at surgery centers and physician-owned hospitals, I would like to thank you for your recognition of the Physician Entrepreneur of the Year. Even that word, in today's climate, is painted by our government as "rich" to be taxed, as opposed to the "working families." Every time we hear the president quote those words, my wife looks at me as an entrepreneur, and says, "You don't work? What are the 60-plus hours a week you put in to create jobs and risk our family's capital?"

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Despite all their innovation and documented clinical improvements, physician-entrepreneur livelihoods are at risk from payer markets that value their work at a 40% to 60% discount to hospitals, and a government banning physician ownership of hospitals. The physician's voice is clearly not being heard, but you would think our government would listen to the patients who speak volumes for both ambulatory surgery centers and physician-owned hospitals. The best evidence that physician entrepreneurs might be on to something comes from the government's own Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. There are only about 270 physician-owned hospitals in 35 states, as compared with more than 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. However, if you look at the state-by-state HCAHPS overall patient-satisfaction rankings, as compiled by Consumer Reports, physician-owned hospitals take a disproportionate number of the top spots:
  • A physician-owned hospital is ranked first in overall patient satisfaction in 11 states.
  • Four states are home to just one physician-owned hospital (Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada and Washington).
  • In three of those states, that physician-owned hospital ranks first in overall patient satisfaction.
  • In the fourth state, the physician-owned hospital ranks second.
  • More than a third of physician-owned hospitals rank in the top 25 hospitals in their respective states.
In the last two decades, physician-entrepreneurs have revolutionized the quality of healthcare with the introduction of ASCs and physician-owned hospitals. Despite the quality numbers, physician entrepreneurs are fighting for the continued existence of their facilities, their livelihoods and their ability to provide their patients with a choice. Your title, Modern Physician, is more important than ever as those who control the purse strings of healthcare seem intent on returning physicians to a role as revenue generators instead of healthcare innovators.

Thomas Mallon

Founder and CEO

Regent Surgical Health

Westchester, Ill.

Board member

Physician Hospitals of America

Sioux Falls, S.D.



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