Hospital Lobbyists Prepare Push Against Doc-Owned Facilities
A provision to loosen restriction on physician-owned hospitals found its way into the December tax extension bill, making the national hospital lobby wary that it may be included in the House-Senate negotiations for a long-term compromise. Meanwhile, as always, efforts to repeal Medicare's SGR are complicated.
Politico Pro: Hospital Push Against Doc-Owned Facilities
The national hospital lobby is readying a push to keep physician-owned hospitals sidelined, now that the House has been trying to revive the business model in defiance of a crackdown by the Affordable Care Act. And after nearly a decade of fighting the practice, the hospital groups aren't happy about having to fight it all over again. The unexpected return to the familiar lobbying terrain is courtesy of the payroll tax extension bill the House passed late last year, which would have loosened restrictions on physician-owned hospitals that have been in place in varying forms since 2003 (DoBias, 1/12).
Medscape: SGR Repeal Dilemma Could Make Passage Harder
Repealing Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician pay — a goal that always seems just out of reach — poses a dilemma for lawmakers that could make the measure even harder to pass. The dilemma is described in a study issued last month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), an arm of the Library of Congress. It states that passage of an ambitious "doc fix" to the Medicare reimbursement crisis would force lawmakers to choose whether Medicare beneficiaries or taxpayers in general would suffer financially from one of the measure's overlooked consequences (Lowes, 1/11).