Throughout the health care debate, the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinics, and Texas‘Scott & White Hospitals were held up as the gold standard of how to deliver efficient and high-quality care. All these institutions have one thing in common — they are physician-owned and physician-led. In the future, these types of institutions are banned.
A provision in the Affordable Care Act (under the guise of “fraud and abuse”) actually prevents physicians from establishing hospitals that participate in Medicare. The ACA makes future hospital ownership illegal for physicians who go to medical school, obtain a license to practice medicine, care for Medicare patients, and then want to refer their Medicare patients to a hospital in which they may have ownership. If a physician had already owned a hospital, the ACA severely limits how that hospital can expand and operate moving forward.