Published by PHA Pulse
Physician ownership of hospitals has been historically opposed by powerful and diverse groups within the healthcare industry. In the face of this opposition, Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) has heroically withstood numerous challenges from larger advocacy groups with superior funding. Unfortunately, the future of physician ownership in hospitals may ultimately be decided not by the clinical and economic viability of the entities themselves, but rather the political clout held by specific advocacy groups. Given this stark reality, it is vital for all stakeholders within the industry to take an active role in supporting PHA and the physician owned hospital industry.
Thanks to the efforts of PHA and its active supporters, legislation that would place severe restrictions on the growth of the industry has been defeated, for the time being. Despite these recent successes, the debate will continue and intensify in 2009. Although growing rapidly, the physician owned hospital footprint across this nation remains relatively small. Today, there are approximately 200 existing physician owned hospitals with approximately 85 currently under development. As these numbers grow, so too will the industry’s financial support, advocacy effectiveness, and political clout. However, at the present time, the industry’s small size and limited active membership make the physician ownership model extremely vulnerable to the threat of adverse legislation.