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Specialty Staff and Physician Ownership

Every specialty surgeon is screened, selected, and recruited to become not only a member of the medical staff but also to have the opportunity to be an owner of the hospital. Unlike a university hospital that is owned by a university and where the hospital reports to the university president and board of regents, FHMC is owned by more than 40 different surgeons. Each surgeon is selected not only because of their surgical skills, but also their strong desire to control the way healthcare is provided and deliver their services in a better way.

The physician owners of FHMC serve on the Board of Directors or as managers, and are responsible for every activity of the hospital. Each specialist is a member of the clinical services committee where they decide what surgeries will be offered at the hospital, what equipment is needed, what protocols and procedures will be followed, what the staff requirements are, what staff is hired, and what the annual budget will be for each specialty program. Simply put: in a physician owned hospital, the physician who knows what is best for the patient is the person who decides the best way to go. In other hospitals, the president, the management team, and the board of directors are usually non-physicians who make the critical decisions regarding how the hospital is organized and operates. The board and the presidents control what doctors are approved for the medical staff and determine how the hospital will be staffed. This system often creates an unfortunate conflict between those who know best what is needed and those who have the authority to make the most critical decisions.

In testimony before the US Senate, the chief counsel of Baylor University Hospitals—one of the most innovative and progressive university system in America—argued that physician ownership in their hospitals improved their quality, raised service levels, and lowered cost. See the attached link (We don’t have this). Consumer Reports issued a study based upon federal Medicare data showing that physician owned hospital were consistently rated the best hospitals in the states where they were located. The physician owners of FHMC are dedicated to making their hospital the best in the state. No one knows what you, as their patient, needs more than you and your doctor.