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Reform Law Cuts Off Specialty Hospitals Just in Time to Prevent Explosive Growth

Under the Affordable Care Act, Dec. 31, 2010 was the last date on which new specialty hospitals could be certified to participate in the Medicare program. Some recent developments in Dallas — where 10 percent of the nation’s specialty hospitals are located — suggest that the healthcare reform law intervened just in time to prevent an explosion of these cost-raising facilities across the land.

Specialty hospitals increase healthcare costs because their physician investors have an incentive to refer patients to them.