Metro Health surgery center gets local nod

October 24, 2008
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The build-out of Metro Health’s three-room outpatient surgical center in the Grand Rapids Women’s Health Center could begin in February, a hospital executive said this week.

Executive Vice President of Growth Strategies Brian Jepson said the proposal now moves to the state Certificate of Need Commission, following a recent endorsement from local health planning agency Alliance for Health. Jepson said he is hoping for state approval before year’s end.

“In the meantime, we are forming a physician steering committee involved in the design of the facility and operational planning,” he said. If all moves on schedule, the center could open in summer 2009.

The facility is not limited to women’s health, but will include use by specialties such as ear, nose and throat, orthopedics and urology, in addition to obstetrics and gynecology and general surgery, Jepson said. Ten doctors plan to perform surgeries there.

Fifteen jobs will be created when the center opens, including four for registered nurses, according to documents Metro Health filed with the Alliance for Health.

Metro Health intends to lease more than 17,250 square feet on the second floor of the building at 555 MidTowne St. NE for $569,250 annually, increasing at 3 percent per year for 10 years. Operating room equipment will be leased. Total capital costs were pegged at $8.6 million.

Metro Health counted 12,767 surgeries in the nine operating rooms in its Wyoming hospital, and about 72 percent were outpatient. An estimated 3,668 procedures are expected at the MidTowne facility, generating an average of $325 in revenue over expenses for a total positive margin of $1 million annually, a margin of around 18 percent.

This is the fourth location Metro Health has considered for a free-standing surgical facility since 2006. The 110,000-square-foot, $25 million building opened in July with its first tenant, obstetrics and gynecology practice Grand Rapids Women’s Health. Other tenants range from fertility specialists to mammography services to a pharmacy.

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