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Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) Congratulates Congress on its Passage of a 'Clean' SCHIP Children's Health Bill

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- "Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) congratulates Congress on its passage of the SCHIP bill which will provide healthcare access and insurance to millions of children nationwide," said Molly Sandvig, PHA Executive Director. "Congress recognized that the SCHIP bill was too important to delay its passage in order to address the contentious issue of physician ownership of hospitals, which was inappropriately attached to this important package."

For the seventh time in 18 months, Congress has rejected special interest legislation intended to shutdown hospitals owned and operated by physicians, including general hospitals, children's hospitals, women's hospitals and specialty orthopedic, heart and rehab hospitals.

The challenge faced by reform minded physician hospitals in HR 2, the House SCHIP bill, was one of these many attempts by Representative Pete Stark and/or Senator Max Baucus, to kill hospitals owned and operated by physicians in the last 18 months.

Previous failed attempts included efforts to insert anti-physician hospital language into the Farm Bill, the Supplemental War Spending Bill and the 2008 SCHIP bill.

Countless lobbying hours and millions of dollars have been spent by the opponents of physician hospitals in their multiple attempts to destroy an industry that truly represents the closest thing to actual healthcare reform our country has seen.

"Time and again, physician hospitals have demonstrated quality excellence, cost efficiencies, and extremely high patient satisfaction," said Sandvig. "It is truly unfortunate that the time, money and effort expended by our opponents to destroy this physician directed healthcare reform movement has not been spent in a more appropriate way - for instance, in an attempt to solve a few of the many real problems healthcare is facing today."

If passed, this latest attempt would have had devastating economic effects with the loss of over 78,000 current and potential jobs, restrictions on healthcare access in hundreds of communities across the country, and severe restrictions on patient's ability to choose and access some of the best and safest hospitals in the country.

In addition to the impact on the 199 existing physician-owned hospitals, 34 are under-going major construction with an estimated $357,500,000 in outstanding expenditures that could be affected by legislation.

Further, the failed legislation would have stopped the current development of 85 hospitals in their tracks with the loss of an estimated $1,830,909,350 already invested and another $574,358,090 in outstanding financing.

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SOURCE Physician Hospitals of America
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