WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act. The bill removes the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ban on the creation and expansion of new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and allows POHs to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Lifting this ban will increase competition among hospitals, decrease costs, and expand access to quality care for more Americans, especially those with Medicare and Medicaid.
“As a doctor, getting the best care to patients is always the priority,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill reduces the amount of government red tape separating patients from the care they need, especially in rural communities.”
“It is clear we need more options and innovation in health care, not less,” said Senator Lankford. “The Affordable Care Act unfairly prohibits the creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals, reducing yet another health care access point for Oklahomans and people around the country, particularly those on Medicare and Medicaid. My bill removes the ACA’s ban on POHs and allows them to offer innovative services that can be tailored to meet patients’ needs. We can and should increase healthcare access, help reduce costs, and ensure Oklahomans have healthcare options for their medical needs.”
Cassidy and Lankford were joined by U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Boozman (R-AR), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY), Rand Paul, M.D. (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) is leading the bill’s introduction in the House of Representatives.
POHs represent less than five percent of the 5,700 hospitals nationwide. However, POHs have a successful track record of providing individualized and innovative quality care, and they meet a growing demand for health care services, especially in rural areas. Seventy-three percent of POHs with a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) overall hospital quality star rating earned three or more stars in the program; 26 percent of them have earned five stars.