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'The Business of Health Care Report'

With Moratorium on Specialty Hospitals Lifted, More Health Care Choices are on the Horizon
11/06/2006

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

Specialty hospitals are springing up across the United States, raising questions for communities and policy makers.

Typically smaller than full-service hospitals, specialty facilities focus on specific areas of care, such as orthopedic surgery or heart care. Proponents contend that they improve quality and reduce costs.

Opponents argue that the quality of care is not the same as in a full-service hospital, that costs are often higher, that a patient is provided a narrow range of health care services, and they do not provide sufficient emergency or indigent care. Opponents of specialty hospitals are lobbying to reinstate the moratorium on specialty hospitals that recently expired.

Texas Health Resources believes North Texas is best served by a combination of specialty care and full-service community hospitals.

Since 1983, THR has collaborated with physicians and other providers on more than a dozen specialty facilities, including four ambulatory surgery centers; three imaging centers; short stay hospitals in Plano, Dallas, Arlington and Southlake; a cardiac catheterization lab; and an oncology center. All of these partnerships were developed to enable patients to receive community-based, advanced inpatient and outpatient care closer to their homes.

Allowing the moratorium to expire permanently, as Congress originally intended, facilitates more innovation and choice into the health care system. THR believes patients across North Texas benefit.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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