updated 1/17/2011 11:49:41 AM ET 2011-01-17T16:49:41

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) is deeply concerned about the negative economic impact of Section 6001 of Healthcare Reform which prohibits new construction or expansion of physician owned hospitals (POHs). This legislation has stopped or jeopardized approximately 100 hospital construction and expansion projects across the country.   Many of those facilities could currently be providing economic relief in the form of $200 million in tax revenue and 30,000 jobs to local communities.

"First and foremost, these hospital projects were developed to serve a need for patient care in these areas.  However, it is impossible to overlook the much needed jobs and tax revenue these facilities could be providing right now for these communities," says Michael Russell, MD and PHA president. "These numbers are very conservative, and only take into account current opportunities. There are so many hospitals still trying to deal with this tremendous blow that it is difficult to know the larger, long-term economic impact."

In addition to generating jobs and tax revenue, physician owned hospitals pour millions into local businesses, collectively spending $4.2 billion per year, or $15 million for every community that has a hospital. 

"These figures do not account for the thousands of development, construction, and manufacturing, jobs generated by hospital projects," adds Dr. Russell.  "At this point in the economy, it should be the government's goal to create jobs - not eliminate them."

Since its passage, section 6001 has prevented or impeded progress for 37 new hospitals, more than 40 nearly-finished hospital construction projects, and approximately 20 major expansion projects.

There are currently 275 POHs paying on average $2.5 million in federal, state and local taxes including property, federal and state income, sales and franchise and excise taxes. Physician owned hospitals provide more than 125,000 jobs for physicians, nurses, and support staff, with an average payroll of approximately $13 million.  

Physician owned hospitals serve patients in 34 states.  These hospitals include general acute care, long term acute care (LTAC), emergency medicine, multispecialty, women's, children's, rehabilitation and psychiatric.    According to the government's HCAHPS survey data as compiled by Consumer Reports, physician owned hospitals rank first for quality in 19 states.

For more information visit:  www.physicianhospitals.org .

Contact:

Leslie Fossey           

(903) 539‐7712 / leslie@azaleaortho.com

Keri Bolte

 (312) 961-4745 / keri@physicianhospitals.org

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