Is America’s Hospital Sector Open to Competition?

Policy Forum
March 22, 2005 12:00PM
Auditorium/1st floor/Wintergarden
Featuring Jeff Micklos, Vice President and General Counsel, Federation of American Hospitals; James E. Harris, Executive Vice President MedCath, Inc.; Mark E. Miller, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; and David A. Hyman, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute
America’s health care system lacks the competitive dynamic that marks other sectors of the economy. The controversy over single-specialty hospitals is a case in point. Also known as “focused factories” of cardiac, orthopedic, or pediatric care, these hospitals have flourished in recent years. However, Congress has temporarily blocked the creation of these facilities. Charging that specialty hospitals represent unfair competition to full-service community hospitals, many parties would like a permanent ban. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently recommended extending that moratorium. The panelists will discuss the nature of “free” versus “fair” competition among hospitals, and what solutions exist that allow for both full-service and single-specialty hospitals.

Links

Testimony of Jamie Harris, Executive Vice President and CFO of MedCath Corporation, before the House Ways and Means Committee

“Adverse Effect of Physician-Owned Limited Service Facilities: Healthy Competition Depends on Level Playing Field,” Chip Kahn and Jeff Cohen of the Federation of American Hospitals

“A health-care loophole,” Chip Kahn

“Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition (A Report by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice)”

Report to the Congress: Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals (March 2005)