Much has been in the news lately about the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act of 2007 recently introduced by the House democrats.   The Bill’s proponents claim that if enacted it will provide insurance coverage for millions of children and improve and strengthen Medicare for America’s seniors and people with disabilities.  What Physicians — particularly surgeons who may be thinking of developing a specialty hospital — may not know is that  the Bill also contains language that would essentially eliminate the ability of physicians to invest in hospitals (specialty or otherwise) and would impose new requirements on existing physician-owned hospitals.  This language, found at Section 651 of the Bill, eliminates the whole hospital exception to the Stark law so that physicians could not refer to hospitals in which they have an ownership interest.  Although existing arrangements would be grandfathered, the grandfathered hospitals will have only 18 months to meet a number of new requirements related to growth, disclosure of ownership, limiting physician ownership to an aggregate of no more than 40% of the facility and no more than 2% individually, and other patient disclosure requirements.