When Entrepreneurship and Ethics Collide: The Case of Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals by ProQuest


Recent effects of inefficiencies in the US health care system have incited criticism and calls for change. Physicians have been involved in a variety of entrepreneurial activities, including group practice formation, physician practice management companies, ambulatory surgery centers, and imaging centers. Each of these types of ventures has been met with concern, both from within the ranks of physicians themselves, and within their competitive community. A recent trend in which physicians invest as owners in newly constructed specialty hospitals became such an ethical issue in 2003 that the US Congress and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stepped in, halting reimbursement from the Medicare program for services provided in existing physician-owned specialty hospitals and forbidding the construction of new facilities. As the moratorium on physician-owned specialty hospitals ends, leaving in its wake several closures due to nascent hospitals' insolvency, questions remain as to the effect of this conflict on future motivation for entrepreneurship in industries and professions with nonpermissive codes of ethics.

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