Feb 23 2023
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and their Republican colleagues in reintroducing the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act, which removes the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ban on the creation and expansion of new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and allows POHs to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Lifting this ban will increase competition among hospitals, decrease costs, and expand access to quality care for more Americans, especially those with Medicare and Medicaid.
POHs represent less than five percent of the 5,700 hospitals nationwide. However, POHs have a successful track record of providing individualized and innovative quality care, and they meet a growing demand for health care services, especially in rural areas. 73 percent of POHs with a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) overall hospital quality star rating earned three or more stars in the program; 26 percent of them have earned five stars.
“Across Arkansas, people are finding it more difficult to access quality health care, specifically in rural areas, because the services are simply not available. This issue is only made worse by the ACA’s ban on the creation and expansion of new POHs,” Boozman said. “Ending this policy will help Arkansans by increasing competition, decreasing costs and expanding access to quality health care no matter where they live. POHs have a proven track record of success, and I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting this commonsense legislation.”
“It is clear we need more options and innovation in health care, not less,” Lankford said. “The Affordable Care Act unfairly prohibits the creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals, reducing yet another health care access point for Oklahomans and people around the country, particularly those on Medicare and Medicaid. My bill removes the ACA’s ban on POHs and allows them to offer innovative services that can be tailored to meet patients’ needs. We can and should increase healthcare access, help reduce costs, and ensure Oklahomans have healthcare options for their medical needs.”
In addition to Boozman and Lankford the following Senators are cosponsors: Senators Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), John Barrasso, MD (R-WY), Rand Paul, MD (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). Representative Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) is leading the bill’s introduction in the House of Representatives.