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Capitol Health Call
September 13, 2006

Specialty Hospital Study

JAMA. 2006;296(10):1225. doi:10.1001/jama.296.10.1225-b

The leadership of the Senate Finance Committee said Medicare officials have erred in a study of specialty hospitals and these facilities' effects on local community health care delivery.

Sen Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) and Sen Max Baucus (D, Mont), in a July 28 letter to Mark McClellan, MD, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said administration officials have been conducting a survey of specialty and “competing” hospitals incorrectly. For example, some of the hospitals selected as competitors of specialty hospitals were in states where specialty hospitals are not allowed to operate. The survey, required by law, is part of an effort by Medicare officials to develop a plan addressing physician investment in specialty hospitals.