About PHK

Hospital Physician Ownership and the formation of PHK

The nation's first hospital was founded in 1751 by a physician named Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin. It was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a place to house the sick-poor who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia. Most of the early hospitals were created by physicians. Physician ownership in hospitals was very common in fact, one of the largest for-profit hospital chains: Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) was started by a physician. Dr. Thomas Frist started Parkview Hospital in Nashville Tennessee in the 1960's, which was the first hospital in the HCA chain which now owns more than 182 hospitals and 94 outpatient surgery centers in 22 states. Four of these hospitals and two surgical centers exist in the state of Kansas. They include: Wesley Medical Center; Menorah Medical Center; Overland Park Regional Medical Center; Allen County Hospital; Surgicenter of Johnson County and Surgicare of Wichita. Over time, physicians moved away from hospital ownership.

In the last several years as managed care has dictated how the care of a patient is provided and as hospitals have become large bureaucratic institutions, the physicians who are ultimately responsible for the care of the patient have become frustrated. Dissatisfied with the way the hospitals were managed and the inability for the physicians to have control of the care of the patients they were responsible for treating, several physicians began forming their own hospitals again in the late 1990's and in early 2000. In Kansas, eleven such facilities now exist.

In 2004, several administrators of physician owned hospitals in Kansas met to discuss some of the issues they were facing in the industry. Many of the members had tried to join the Kansas Hospital Association and their membership had been rejected. It was evident that the Kansas Hospital Association was disgruntled with the thought that physicians had entered the hospital market creating competition for them. It was apparent that legislation was going to be introduced that would prohibit or severely damage the ability for physicians to have ownership and governance of hospitals.

By early 2005, the Kansas Surgical Hospital Association had been founded. It has eight hospital members and is active in the State promoting physician ownership to achieve superior quality healthcare to Kansans. In 2008, KSHA changed its name to Physician Hospitals of Kansas. 

PHK Mission

Physician Hospitals of Kansas is a not-for-profit trade organization created for the purpose of exchanging knowledge, promoting health education, and representing the interests of the healthcare consumer who may prefer to choose a surgical hospital for delivery of care in the state of Kansas.