Democrats work to impose limits on MD-owned hospitals

Three times in the last 10 months, both levels of Congress have attempted to impose new limits on physician ownership of hospitals, but failed to close the deal. Now, Democrats in Congress are making another effort to do just that--while allowing a select few hospitals to escape the limits they have planned for the rest of the bunch. The current legislation being considered by the Senate generally prevents doctor-owned hospitals from expanding their capacity by adding beds or operating rooms, though it does offer some narrow exceptions based on local population growth and ratio of hospital beds to population.

Among the hospitals that would get a break from planned legislation include Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, whose dispensation was snared by Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a member of the Appropriations Committee. Meanwhile, Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) got the Senate to agree to language that would help out Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay--notably by allowing it to build a new cardiac Catha lab.

To learn more about the legislative battle:
- read this article from The New York Times