Healthcare purchasers in three cities with significant development of physician-owned specialty hospitals generally believe such hospitals are contributing to a medical "arms race" that is driving up healthcare costs without a significant improvement in quality, according to an issue brief by the Center for Studying Health System Change. The center said it looked at Indianapolis, Little Rock, Ark., and Phoenix, where purchasers have had time to evaluate the competitive effects of specialty hospitals. Randy Fenninger, a spokesman for the American Surgical Hospital Association, attributed rising healthcare costs to the billions of dollars spent on hospital construction nationwide. Fenninger also cited a section of the center's report that found significant promotion of specialty services in areas without specialty hospitals. "How can one isolate specialty hospitals as a factor if they don't exist in other cities? ... To single out the specialty hospital as a causative factor, and to suggest that it is, and to have no data, is not responsible academic work," Fenninger said. Read the issue brief.
Buyers tie specialty hospitals to higher costs: report
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