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Should Physician-owned Single-specialty Hospitals Continue to Exist?

Should Physician-owned Single-specialty Hospitals Continue to Exist?


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Lewis W. Mustard, PhD, LLB
Physician-owned single-specialty hospitals (SSHs) account for only about 200 hospitals out of approximately 5500 hospitals nationwide, and yet they are at the center of a raging debate. The ability of community SSHs to lower costs and improve quality while threatening the viability and existence of community full-service hospitals is at the center of the hotly contested debate. A review of prior studies on this issue does not reveal competitiveness in the marketplace between SSHs and community full-service hospitals. In fact, the debate on the relatively newness of SSHs creates a number of questions not entirely answered by the research, which prevents a real understanding of their value to society and thus a resolution of the raging debate.