In a December report on hospital value-based purchasing from CMS, nine of the top 10 performing U.S. hospitals were physician owned, according to an American Medical News report. In fact, this list identified 48 physician-owned hospitals in the top 100.

Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) President Paul Kerens noted in a recent issue of PHA ePulse, PHA's e-publication, that the new quality data from CMS that shows physician-owned hospitals "very favorably" will be included in the association's efforts on the Hill.

Despite this impressive performance by the small industry (there are less than 240 physician-owned hospitals nationwide), there are serious limitations on expansion of existing and development of new physician-owned hospitals due to changes to the Stark Law included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The physician-owned hospital industry, led by advocacy association PHA, has fought against the 2010 PPACA-imposed limitations, including the various predecessor provisions appearing in bills that pre-dated PPACA. Supporters of physician-owned hospitals continue to seek ways that the restrictions can be legislatively refined into more manageable provisions that are good for clinical care and the broad hospital industry generally.