The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

June 2, 2013

Outpatient surgery center in the works for Beckley

BECKLEY — A new outpatient surgery center is being built in Beckley, and the physician who is opening the center said its purpose is to optimize the delivery of community health care.

A. James Paine Jr., MD, a Beckley surgeon, announced that the facility will be built on Grey Flats Road, between the East Beckley Bypass and South Eisenhower Drive.

Paine’s vision is to create a connected health care delivery system that is less costly and more convenient for patients and area physicians who will be impacted by the Affordable Care Act.

Located in the Pinecrest area, the 70,000-plus-square- foot medical office building is the first of its kind in the region and possibly the state, said Paine.

Plans also include an ambulatory surgery center.

“The idea is for patients to have access to primary care providers and specialists along with ancillary services such as pharmacy, physical therapy, X-ray, CT and MRI located conveniently in one building,” said Dawn Ferguson, vice president and chief financial officer of Beckley Surgery Center, owned by Paine.

Paine said the goal is to have a first-class setting for patients that is also convenient.

“They’ll have a one-stop shop,” he said. “Having physicians working together in this manner really makes a much more efficient health care delivery system to the patient.”

Architectural designs for the proposed facility show two entrances to the property, one from the bypass and one from Pinecrest Drive, and a private entryway into the facility for surgery patients. The most current drawing for the building features end-cap, drive-thru windows that could host a pharmacy or bank.

 In addition, there are four out-parcels that will be developed and available for sale or lease, according to Ferguson.

 Patients who undergo surgery in a surgery center pay lower rates than those who have the same surgeries at a hospital, said Ferguson.

As an example, Paine said, a procedure that costs $1,000 for a Medicare patient in a hospital may be $560 at a surgery center.

“Not only does the federal government save money, but the patient saves it because the co-pay would cost less,” said Paine. “The same applies to private carriers.

“From that standpoint, we feel that this is going to offer a great deal to patients, and will be a definite service and benefit to the community,” he said. “We’re very excited about the possibilities and what the future is going to hold for this whole project.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, Paine said, it makes financial sense for physicians to syndicate and to share space in a single facility.

The legislation encourages the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), or a community of medical groups that are associated.

“Health care is going to be impacted by the ACA,” said Paine. “The center is the future opportunity for physicians who are there to have some cohesion, whether it’s in forming a group practice or simply sharing in the facility.

“The center will offer turn-key opportunities for doctors to share billing, personnel and furnishings — ideal for physicians who are looking to scale down their practice or those just beginning a practice.

“The more regulations and compliance features imposed on the health care industry, the more expensive it is to run (a medical facility),” said Paine. “To have many different physicians all trying to run their own practice is so much more expensive than simply drawing it up into a setting where we can have some cohesion, not necessarily as a joined practice.”

Physicians may simply rent office space at the new facility or join in a partnership entity and share in ownership of the building.

“As far as their day-to-day operation, they could choose to run their own practice, from a business perspective, or they could take advantage of a turn-key opportunity where those services are provided to them by a management company.”

From a patient perspective, ACA legislation focuses on prevention of illness and encourages care comparable to that offered in a health maintenance organization (HMO) —an organization that provides managed health care for health benefit plans.

Unlike HMO plans, however, the new legislation doesn’t offer risk protection for doctors.

“ Not only will this group of physicians get together and offer these services, there may be room to incorporate a larger entity, (along the lines of) a hospital,” said Paine. “They get together and provide health care services at a lower rate.”

This level of coordination of care isn’t currently offered in the area, said Paine.

Paine now operates Beckley Surgery Center, Mountain State ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery, Healing Springs Medical Spa and Mountain State Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center all located at Brookshire.

Interested physicians, including those who would like to offer suggestions on the concept, may contact Ferguson at dawn@msent.com or at 304-255-2341 ext. 113.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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