August 08, 2006

Crapo Lauds Ruling On Specialty Hospitals

CMS lifts moratorium on construction and development

IDAHO FALLS, ID â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo praised the lifting of the moratorium on the construction and development of specialty hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Today, CMS released its final report commissioned by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in which it immediately ended the ban on the prohibition of specialty hospitals and provided for disclosure of physician ownership in medical facilities to both CMS and patients. â??Itâ??s about time we put a moratorium on this moratorium,â?? said Crapo. â??For too long, physicians and patients have been thwarted in their efforts to seek high-quality healthcare with high-quality outcomes. I support a level playing field and competition for all hospitals that result in more efficient and effective care for patientsâ??this decision by CMS will promote this move toward healthcare excellence.â?? â??Transparency should be the great equalizer in the delivery of healthcare and quality outcomes. Patient satisfaction and efficient care are the best tools to drive the marketâ??and if bad participants are discovered, then the appropriate enforcement is already available to punish those players.â??Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is a long-time supporter of the beneficial effects for both patients and providers that arise from the competitive, market forces work in the hospital industry. Section 5006 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a strategic and implementing plan to address physician investment in specialty hospitals and issue both an interim and final report on this plan. The Secretary delegated authority to address these statutory requirements to CMS. The Agency delivered the interim report to Congress on May 9, 2006, and noted that it required more information before completing the final report to Congress due on August 8, 2006.In order to obtain the necessary information to complete the strategic and implementing plan and to issue the final report, CMS conducted a survey of â??all physician-owned limited service hospitals and about 300 â??competingâ?? community hospitals.