updated 1/26/2011 5:47:34 PM ET 2011-01-26T22:47:34

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) applauds the President and his willingness to work with Congress on "common sense reforms" to legislation including healthcare reform. In his rebuttal, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) Chairman of the Budget Committee said his party was committed to "fiscally responsible, patient centered reform."   In the wake of the State of the Union speech, PHA is asking Congress to reverse Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act, which greatly restricts physician ownership of hospitals.  The law has stopped the construction of many new physician owned hospitals (POHs) and the expansion of current POHs.

"Our hospitals are exactly what both the President and Republican leaders are looking for," says PHA president Dr. Michael Russell. "We are only 285 strong, yet a physician owned hospital ranks first for patient satisfaction in 19 states. Our hospitals have a proven track record for providing better quality of care, lower infection rates, better outcomes, with a commitment to cost reduction for our patients.  Physician owned hospitals, and our many innovations, should be encouraged – not hindered."  

Physician owned hospitals currently provide 125,000 jobs in 34 states.  If current expansion and construction projects were allowed to continue an additional 30,000 jobs and $200 million in tax revenues would  be created for local communities. Additionally, 32 million more Americans are now entering the insurance rolls.  POHs treat approximately 1.5 million patients each year and these new and expanded hospitals would add the capacity to serve 300,000 more. 

"We are innovators," adds Russell. "Whenever you radically change the status quo there are those who would rather eliminate you than compete with you. Last night, President Obama specifically called out lobbyists who have influenced the law to the detriment of innovation and common sense and said 'Let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward.'  Section 6001 clearly needs 'fixing' and we are confident any thorough examination of the value of physician owned hospitals will lead to a full reversal."

There are currently 285 POHs 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, 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-Talcott

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

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