Farm bill would restrict MD-owned specialty hospitals

In a piece of gamesmanship worthy of Capitol Hill, legislators behind a pending agriculture bill have slipped in a provision that would ban physician ownership of specialty hospitals. Versions of the measure already had been passed by the House and Senate without such provisions, but the ban was added during the final process of reconciling the House and Senate bills. The notion is that this would somehow help to pay the costs of the $280 million farm bill by generating some $2.4 billion in new money. (It appears that this involves some form of Medicare savings.) The AMA, of course, is hopping mad, particularly given the last-minute nature of the ban's inclusion. The AHA and the Federation of American Hospitals support the provision, not surprisingly given their consistent opposition to competition from such hospitals.

To learn more about this bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)
- read this statement from the AMA

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