Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lincoln area specialty hosptials Nebraska Heart Institute and Lincoln Surgical Hospital opened before Federal Government imposed moratorium on medicare/medicaid reimbursements for physician referrals to "whole hospitals" they owned; moratorium has expired, but Fed CMS Agency has not allowed new specialty hospitalsPhysician-Owned Specialty Hospitals Dodge a Bullet; Duane Morris Law Firm. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 ("MMA") imposed an 18 month moratorium from December 2003 to June 2005, on physicians' referring their patients to a cardiac, orthopedic or surgical specialty hospital in which they had an ownership or investment interest. The moratorium did not apply to hospitals that were in operation or "under development" as of November 18, 2003. Congress allowed the moratorium to expire. Legislation that Senators Grassley and Baucus introduced as the "Hospital Fair Competition Act of 2005" would have permanently prohibited specialty hospitals passed the Senate but went nowhere in the House. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires HHS (through CMS) to develop a "strategic and implementing plan" regarding physician investment in specialty hospitals. For now area specialty hospitals with their high profit margins are safe.

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