Troubles Brewing for Physician Owned Hospitals

Financial Problems Predicted

Staff Reporterscrazy-house

According to the Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2009, a bill making its way through Congress to provide more low-income children with health-insurance coverage might mean financial trouble for scores of physician owned hospitals.  


Emergence and Growth

The very existence of doctor-owned hospitals is controversial. But, their numbers have tripled to about 200 since 1990.

The Supporters

Supporters say these hospitals, which usually focus on several lucrative services, such as cardiac care or orthopedics, are highly efficient, saving expenses for both patients and insurance programs, including Medicare.


The Critics

Critics say physicians who refer patients to hospitals with an ownership stake drive up costs, because they order more tests or perform unnecessary surgery. They argue that such hospitals also cherry pick healthy patients hurting surrounding non-profits hospitals.


According to Pete Stark, chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, the proposed legislation would prohibit “the unethical kickbacks that physicians receive from ownership hospitals, most of which are of questionable safety and quality.”


And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Do you agree, or disagree with the thesis; why or why not? Does this mean that not-for-profit hospitals, for-profit entities, or those hospitals with training programs don’t order un-needed tests? Are these hospitals and physician-investors, “crazy” or colorful and sane? 

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Discount Dentistry Brokers

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More … on Sleazy Defenseless Companies

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

I just came across a deceptive advertisement for a discount dentistry broker.

Yea, I know! What’s new? 

Why do we as healthcare providers silently allow naïve consumers to be so brazenly misled by sleazy businesses like Universal Benefit Plans and Universal Dental Plan, when we know they cheat their clients out of healthcare dollars?

Massachusetts Non-Profits

In a press release that announces their joint outreach initiative to aid Massachusetts nonprofits, it says Universal Dental Plan provides “… guaranteed rate discounts of 20-50% on all procedures.”

Off the Top 

Just think – 20-50% off what – a super-inflated “retail” price? Dentists’ overhead easily tops 60%. If a dentist is losing 10% of his or her retirement just to do an intricate procedure for a gullible and trusting consumer who has no idea what is happening, how well do you think that work of art will chew? 

A Madoff Investment

Universal Dental Plan sounds almost as good as a Bernard L Madoff Investment, except that Ponzi tycoon Madoff accidentally promised quality before the wheels fell off. Universal Benefit Plans and Universal Dental Plan are sleazy companies who will never attempt to defend themselves on the Internet. They know better.


This has been fun. Let’s do it again. And, if sleazy attorneys don’t like what I have to say about these two sleazy clients, come and get me.  But you better bring a ladder and a sack lunch. I’m not worried. I’ve said the same thing about Delta Dental, and they haven’t the guts to face me either [“Such a ‘Sleazy’ Company” on this Medical Executive-Post].

Note: Dr. Pruitt blogs at PenWell and other dental sites, where this post first appeared.

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