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RetireSafe to Senate: Stop Proposed Rationing of High-Quality Hospital Care - Medicare Needs More Physician Hospitals
Date:9/23/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today RetireSafe, representing 400,000 senior supporters across America, called on the U.S. Senate, starting with the Senate Finance Committee, to stop the proposed rationing of high-quality hospital care to Medicare patients.

"The health care reform bill now being considered in the Finance Committee would deny Medicare beneficiaries access to the best in hospital care by limiting the operation and growth of physician hospitals," charged RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. According to Phillips, for seniors seeking the finest in orthopedic or cardiac care, physician hospitals are an obvious first choice. He said, "This outrage must not be allowed to stand, and Medicare beneficiaries must act now, before it's too late."

Said Phillips, "We need more of these outstanding facilities to serve the growing millions of older Americans on Medicare. Health care reform would deny our seniors access to new physician hospitals, and put the ones we now have out of business. Clearly the Finance Committee or the Senate should act to strike the physician hospital limitation language from the health care reform bill."

He continued, "Physician hospitals offer the best in patient care, and rate far higher than most of the big chain and so-called 'community' hospitals they compete against. Study after study proves that the smaller physician hospitals provide a higher nurse to patient ratio, more physician control of hospital operations, and minimal patient disruption during recovery."

Phillips cited an August 2009 Consumer Reports study involving more than one million hospital patients nationwide, that ranked physician hospitals as the number one hospital in 19 states, and near the top in the other states in which they operate. He pointed out, "One study done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that patients rated physician hospitals 37 points higher than the national average, while another federal study found the length of stay was from 17 percent to 31 percent shorter at specialty hospitals than at their community counterparts."

More information on hospital quality studies can be found in the "health" section at consumerreports.org or in the paper "Why America Needs More Physicians Hospitals" at seniorsforcures.org.

Phillips concluded, "Responsible Senators must support better care, and oppose the rationing of Medicare hospital benefits at physician hospitals."


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SOURCE RetireSafe
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