Senate Committee Leaders Seek Review of Specialty Hospitals
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Monday asked the HHS Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office to review quality, patient safety and financial arrangements at physician-owned specialty hospitals, CQ HealthBeat reports.
In a statement, Grassley and Baucus said that the review would serve as part of an effort by the committee to determine the effect that specialty hospitals have on patients, community hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid. Grassley and Baucus on Feb. 14 asked HHS for information about the enforcement of a moratorium on new specialty hospitals included in the 2003 Medicare law.
In addition, Grassley and Baucus in a Feb. 27 letter to the Medicare Payment and Advisory Commission asked for information on the effect of specialty hospitals on community hospitals.
Grassley said, "We need to know the impact so we can make educated decisions to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care for the most cost-effective price" (CQ HealthBeat, 3/6).