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Physician-Led Healthcare for America Statement: Introduction of the “Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2022”

May 4, 2022

Washington, DC – May 4, 2022 – Physician-Led Healthcare for America (PHA) is pleased to support the introduction of the “Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2022” by Senator James Lankford (R-OK).

“We applaud Senator Lankford and the original co-sponsors – Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), John Boozman (R-AR), John Barrasso (R-WY), Todd Young (R-IN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) — for their vision in introducing legislation to increase patient access to the high quality health care services of physician-led hospitals,” Frederic Liss, MD, PHA’s president, said. “Expansion of physician-led hospitals represents an immediate solution to help counter our country’s pervasive problem of hospital market consolidation by providing patients a choice of treatment options through expanding our public health infrastructure and its capacity. As our nation recovers from a once-in-a-century pandemic, bold action is needed to ensure patients are never again forced to seek care in converted parking lots or convention centers. During the COVID-19 crisis, PHA member hospitals stepped forward to offer essential services such as surgical and medical intensive care services.”

The legislation would address growing healthcare consolidation concerns by repealing Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act, which limits hospital competition by prohibiting grandfathered physician-led hospitals from expanding.

“As several members of Congress have said before: ‘Hospitals can own physicians, but physicians can’t own hospitals.’ Physician ownership and management of hospitals has a long and distinguished record in the United States, beginning with some of the earliest hospitals, including The Pennsylvania Hospital (the first hospital in US history), founded by Dr. Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin, where I completed my internship” said Liss. Today, well over 200 physician-led hospitals around the nation feature some of the highest Medicare outcomes related to quality of care and efficiency in the nation.

Liss added:

“Concerns over increasing healthcare consolidation is a rare issue in which both sides of the political aisle find common ground. Fortunately, a tool to increase competition immediately in healthcare markets across the country already exists: physician-led hospitals. The “Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2022”represents an opportunity for Congress to inject badly needed competition around the nation and most importantly offer patients a high-quality, low-cost alternative.

“It’s time to remove the anti-competitive prohibition on the expansion of physician-led hospitals. We urge Congress to step forward and enact this important legislation in a swift manner so that all patients can have access to the high quality and efficient care that physician-led hospitals provide. We again thank Senator Lankford and his colleagues for their leadership.”