by Heather Mayer
, DOTmed News Reporter | September 24, 2010
Oral arguments will be heard Wednesday for a lawsuit challenging the new ban on physician-owned hospitals.
The lawsuit was filed in June by Physician Hospitals of America and Texas Spine & Joint Hospital, calling the ban "exclusionary and unconstitutional." The ban, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, prohibits physician-owned Medicare hospitals from expanding after March 23, 2010 and bans any new physician-owned Medicare hospitals that are not certified as Medicare providers prior to Dec. 31, 2010.
The groups claim that the ban eliminates competition for non-physician-owned hospitals, which will ultimately negatively affect patient choice and medical care affordability.
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"It is truly illogical and unfortunate that at a time the government is supposedly attempting to increase access to care, it has chosen to stop the growth of many of the best hospitals in the country," Molly Sandvig, executive director of PHA said in prepared remarks.
The arguments will be heard at the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas.