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Dr. Coburn Praises Ruling Lifting Ban on Specialty Hospitals

Location: Tulsa, OK

Dr. Coburn Praises Ruling Lifting Ban on Specialty Hospitals

CMS lifts moratorium on new specialty hospitals

(TULSA, OK) - U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), M.D., a practicing physician, today 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 required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. CMS ended the moratorium of specialty hospitals and addressed concerns by providing for disclosure of physician ownership in medical facilities to both CMS and patients. Dr. Coburn, one of two physicians in the Senate, has championed market innovations that improve quality and let competition curtail costs in the health care industry.

"As a practicing physician, I am pleased that this ruling will allow market forces to increase quality and decrease costs in health care. For more than two-and-a-half years, this important market innovation has been stymied," Dr. Coburn said.

"CMS has taken critical steps to update its hospital payment system to the 21st Century with reforms that will level the playing field. Today's report and the end to the moratorium reaffirm that specialty and traditional hospitals can coexist in a free market world," Dr. Coburn said.

Section 5006 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) required 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. CMS delivered the interim report to Congress on May 9, 2006, and today delivered the final report to Congress on time.

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