The American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and Coalition of Full Service Community Hospitals on April 6 urged members of Congress to strongly oppose two recently introduced bills (H.R. 1186 and H.R. 1159) that would repeal new limits on physician self-referral under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"To be clear, community hospitals embrace fair competition where facilities compete over quality, price and patient satisfaction," they said in a letter to freshmen House Republicans. "However, we are strongly opposed to self-referral which skews the marketplace in favor of physician owners who self-refer the healthiest and wealthiest patients to their own facilities…The data gathered over the last decade clearly showed that self-referral was creating an unlevel, anti-competitive playing field, and threatened patient safety, as well as the health care safety net provided by full-service community hospitals."
H.R. 1186, introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), would repeal the ACA moratorium on self-referral to physician-owned hospitals formed after Dec. 31, 2010. H.R. 1159, introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), would repeal both the moratorium and the requirement that physicians disclose their ownership interest in hospitals to patients.