Doctor owned surgery center double amount of surgery

What a surprise!  When doctors can earn much more money from surgery, they do twice the number of surgeries.  And what better way to make more money off each surgery than to be an owner of  the surgical center where they perform the operations.

From Eureka Alert:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When doctors become invested in an outpatient surgery center, they perform on average twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

“Our data suggest that physician behavior changes after investment in an outpatient facility. Through what some have labeled the ‘triple dip,’ physician owners of surgery centers not only collect a professional fee for the services provided, but also share in their facility’s profits and the increased value of their investment. This creates a potential conflict of interest,” says study author John Hollingsworth, M.D., M.S., a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the U-M Medical School.

“To the extent that owners are motivated by profit, one potential explanation for our findings is that these physicians may be lowering their thresholds for treating patients with these common outpatient procedures,” Hollingsworth adds.

The study looked at all patients in Florida who underwent one of five common outpatient procedures: carpal tunnel release, cataract excision, colonoscopy, knee arthroscopy and myringotomy with tympanostomy tube placement (a procedure to insert tubes in the ear).

The researchers determined which doctors were owners of a surgery center. They then compared surgery use among owners in two time periods—before and after they acquired ownership—with that of physicians who remained non-owners…

more via Doctors with ownership in surgery center operate more often, U-M study finds.

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