FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RetireSafe to U.S. Senate: Stop Proposed Rationing of High-Quality Hospital Care – Medicare Patients Need More Physician Hospitals!
Washington, DC (November 18, 2009) Today RetireSafe, representing over 400,000 senior citizen supporters across America, called on the United States Senate to stop the proposed rationing of high-quality hospital care to Medicare patients. "The health care reform bill soon to be considered in the Senate would deny Medicare beneficiaries access to the best in hospital care by limiting the operation and growth of physician hospitals," charged RetireSafe President Thair Phillips. For seniors seeking the finest in orthopedic or cardiac care, physician hospitals are an obvious first choice," Phillips said. "This outrageous rationing must not be allowed to stand, and we urge the Senate to take corrective action now, before it's too late," he added.
"We need more of these outstanding facilities to serve the growing millions of older Americans on Medicare," Phillips emphasized. "Health care reform legislation now before the Senate would deny our seniors access to new physician hospitals, and ultimately put the ones operating now out of business," he added. "Clearly the Senate should act immediately to strike the physician hospital limitation language from the proposed health care reform bill," Phillips stressed.
He continued, "Physician hospitals offer the best in patient care, and rate far higher than most of the big chain and so-called 'community' hospitals they compete against." "Study after study proves that the smaller physician hospitals provide a higher nurse to patient ratio, more physician control of hospital operations, and minimal patient disruption during recovery, Phillips noted.
"A recent (August 2009) Consumer Reports study involving more than one million hospital patients nationwide, ranked physician hospitals as the number one hospital in 19 states, and near the top in the other states in which they operate," he pointed out. "One federally mandated quality study done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that patients rated physician hospitals 37 points higher than the national average, while another federal study of physician hospitals found the length of stay was anywhere from 17 percent to 31 percent shorter at specialty hospitals than at their community counterparts," Phillips stated. (More detailed information on hospital quality studies can be found in the "health" section at consumerreports.org or in the paper "Why America Needs More Physicians Hospitals" at seniorsforcures.org.) He concluded, "It's time for the Senate to stand up for our seniors and stop the cruel health care reform bill rationing of Medicare hospital benefits at physician hospitals."