If you’re a physician business executive, and you’re thinking about owning or investing in your own hospital, this issue of Modern Physician is for you. From cashing out after financial problems to buying a stake in a national chain of physician-owned hospitals, our coverage will educate you on the range of possibilities.In our Top Story, frequent contributor Jay Greene profiles two physician brothers who have bought 155-bed Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego -- the same Alvarado Hospital Medical Center that Tenet Healthcare Corp. was forced to sell under a legal settlement with the federal government. The physicians say they relish the challenge of turning around the troubled hospital. Would you take on the same risk? Before you decide, maybe you should hear from the former CEO of Alvarado who was accused of criminal fraud for allegedly paying physicians for patient referrals to the hospital through bogus physician-relocation agreements. He survived two mistrials and offers his suggestions for avoiding similar legal problems in this issue’s Guest Commentary. Can a physician-owned hospital put its troubled past behind it? That’s what the physician-owner of 122-bed Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, Fla., is trying to do after agreeing to a $15.4 million kickback settlement with the federal government. In this issue’s Beyond the Headlines, you’ll hear from Jack Michel, M.D., who expressed confidence that his hospital’s questionable past is history, according to reporter Mark Taylor. What if that challenge turns out to be too great to overcome? Well, you can always sell to a not-for-profit hospital competitor. Also in Beyond the Headlines, you’ll find out why the physician-owners of hospitals in Wisconsin and Ohio called it quits, according to reporter Michael Romano. Perhaps not-for-profit hospitals are eager to snatch up struggling physician-owned hospitals because the big boys may be coming to town. In this issue’s Feature, reporter Jessica Zigmond reports on a group of developers and physician investors that wants to open up a chain of physician-owned, acute-care hospitals nationwide. One thing is clear from our package of stories on physician ownership of hospitals. Physician business executives view hospital ownership as a business opportunity that, despite the risk, is too good to pass up. As the leading business publication for physicians, we’ll be chronicling that experience.
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