On Tuesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley released a lengthy policy paper discussing for options for reducing health care costs and improving quality in the health care delivery system. The proposals are far-reaching, ranging from bundling of hospital and post-acute care, establishing appropriateness criteria for imaging services, and requiring drug/device manufacturers to report payments to physicians/physician investments. With regard to specialty hospitals, the “whole hospital” and rural exceptions to the general ban on self-referral would be eliminated, but a new exception would be created for hospitals that have physician ownership and a Medicare provider agreement in effect on July 1, 2009 and which meet certain criteria. The release is available at finance.senate.gov.