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Specialty hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and general hospitals: charting a wise public policy course

Specialty hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and general hospitals: charting a wise public policy course

Health Affairs 24(3): 868-873

The number of U.S. specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers has been increasing. Advocates of these facilities believe that they will increase competition and improve health services. General hospitals, however, complain that specialty facilities select only the most profitable patients, which reduces general hospitals' ability to pay for care of the uninsured and other unprofitable services. Physician ownership also raises conflict-of-interest concerns. Congress has enacted a moratorium on payments to new specialty hospitals as it ponders the questions that will determine future policy. Can the competitive playing field be leveled, or will future development of these facilities be highly regulated or banned?

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Accession: 050356553

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PMID: 15886184

DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.24.3.868

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