Credit: Leslie Krivo-Kaufman / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Employees of the Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute Orthopaedics are the biggest company donor to Romney Victory, Inc.

Sixty-eight Rothman Institute employees, including 12 Penn graduates, donated a total of $811,200 to Romney Victory — a fundraising committee for Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign and the Republican National Committee — as of Oct. 20, according to the Federal Election Commission. Twenty-one of the 68 Rothman employees gave exactly $25,000.

The institute — which has over 15 offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey — was founded by 1958 College graduate and 1962 Perelman School of Medicine graduate Richard Rothman in 1970. He donated $25,000 to Romney Victory as well as $5,000 directly to Romney.

$176,750 of the Rothman employee donations were from 12 Penn graduates employed at the clinic as doctors.

The next highest total, grouped by employer, is from the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, according to The Washington Post. The firm’s employees donated $480,000 to Romney Victory.

Romney Victory raises money to be distributed to other committees. Of the total Rothman donations to Romney Victory, $518,000 have gone to the RNC thus far.

Rothman Institute Public Relations Manager Rick Cushman said Rothman Institute declined to comment on the donations. Other individual donors did not respond to interview requests.

Assistant health care management professor Ashley Swanson said the Rothman employees may have donated to the Romney campaign because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and what a victorious Romney “would try to institute as a replacement.” Throughout this election cycle, Romney has promised to repeal the ACA.

In addition, “[The Rothman employees] may expect Governor Romney to take a stronger position on tort reform,” she said in an email.

The ACA affects Rothman Institute as an orthopedic practice differently than other medical professions, according to health care management professor Mark Pauly.

“The emphasis in the ACA on primary care probably does mean that surgical specialists like orthopedic surgeons will gain less from it than primary care specialists,” Pauly said in an email.

“The jury is still out on how the ACA will affect orthopedic clinics and medical specialists more broadly,” Swanson said. The ACA might affect the Rothman Institute due to the increase in insured patients, physician payment reform and greater quality reporting requirements, he added.

“The clinic’s physicians may be concerned about the proposed payment reforms and large near-term cuts in Medicare spending,” Swanson said. “The goal of eventually transitioning from fee-for-service to bundled payment is opposed by many physicians, in particular.”

Romney’s proposed tax policy might also appeal to the donors due to their likely income bracket, Swanson said.

“The incentives to donate to any campaign for the clinic are probably similar to any high income professional in other sectors,” health care management professor Robert Town said in an email.

Rothman employees have donated a total of $263,700 directly to Romney, ranking 18th in organizational donations directly to the candidate.

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