St. Francis, doc group offers new $ 26.5 million orthopedic surgery center

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A joint venture involving St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and a group of orthopedic surgeons offers a $ 26.5 million, 33,000 square foot orthopedic and ambulatory pain surgery center in Hartford.

St. Francis Hospital’s proposed joint venture with Lighthouse Surgery Holdings LLC, known as the Woodland Surgery Center, plans to build the facility at 129 Woodland Street. It would house six operating rooms, a procedure room, and a rehabilitation and doctor space, according to a certificate of need (CON) filed with the state’s Office of Access to Health Care.

Work would begin once the project receives approval from the Office of Access to Health Care, with occupancy expected in June 2019. The site, on the other side of Woodland from the main campus of the hospital near Ashley Street, includes an unoccupied daycare center and apartment buildings that will be demolished.

St. Francis will own 35 percent of the joint venture, 65 percent of which will be owned by Lighthouse Surgery Holdings, which was created by independent orthopedic surgeons, pain specialists and anesthetists to manage the new facility. The parties began discussing the surgery center late last year.

St. Francis will close its four operating rooms SurgiCare, an outpatient surgery center located at 500 Blue Hills Ave. in Hartford, which will effectively reduce the surgical capacity available at St. Francis, but will continue to offer the same services offered for the Woodland Surgery Center, says CON.

St. Francis would fund the surgery center’s $ 13.6 million, with the Woodland Surgery Center joint venture funding $ 12.9 million.

The proposal estimates that outpatient arthroplasties in the Hartford area will increase by 227.1% in 10 years and that ambulatory sports medicine and spine volumes will increase by 43.9% and 27.5% respectively.

The new surgical center will offer outpatient total joint replacement surgeries. Currently, orthopedic outpatient surgery and pain treatments are provided at St. Francis and SurgiCare, but attempting to transfer orthopedic cases to SurgiCare is not feasible, according to CON, noting that the current operating rooms in St. Francis and SurgiCare were never designed with new equipment in mind and it has become financially impossible to renovate each.

Surgeons at St. Francis have recently started transferring joint replacement cases to the hospital’s outpatient operating rooms as needed, but because the cases are more complex than the routine outpatient surgery performed there, sharing space harms efficiency, according to the CON.

A dedicated ASC “will ultimately improve case efficiency and allow for an increased transition of inpatient joint procedures to the outpatient arena,” CON said. “The result will be faster recovery times, better results and lower cost procedures. “

The facility would recently follow other orthopedic projects in the state, including the new Hartford HealthCare Bone and Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital which opened in January. On Monday, New York’s Stamford Health and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) opened a 40,000 square foot inpatient orthopedic surgery unit at Stamford Hospital.


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