ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 8 (UPI) — Doctors who invest in an outpatient surgery center perform on average twice as many surgeries, U.S. researchers found.
“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,” study author Dr. John Hollingsworth of the University of Michigan Health System said in a statement. “This creates a potential conflict of interest.”
In the last 10 years, the number of U.S. outpatient surgery centers increased nearly 50 percent, largely driven by the investment of physicians, who had a stake in 83 percent of these facilities, Hollingsworth said in a statement.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found outpatient surgical owners operated on an average of twice as many patients as non-owners and, while caseloads increased overall during the study period, the increases were more rapid and dramatic among the outpatient facility owners.
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