Amita Health eyes $55 million expansion – Health Care News

on May11

10 May 2017 | 6:22 pm

Northwest suburban Amita Health wants to pony up $55.3 million to open a pair of medical office buildings mere blocks from rivals, as hospital systems nationwide bulk up their outpatient footprints to woo more patients.

Amita’s plans call for a facility in northwest suburban Bartlett and one in southwest suburban Woodridge, in between the edges of the hospital network’s vast footprint. The sites would be the largest outside of Amita’s nine hospitals.

Meanwhile, the health system plans to consolidate what has become more than 100 outpatient sites. Amita CEO Mark Frey said that would involve having fewer small doctor’s offices, and more large ones.

“The thought that everybody is going to come to the high-cost environment — the hospital setting—for services that can be provided more easily and at a lower cost, I think you need to meet those sets of needs from consumers rather than sitting back and waiting for them to come to you,” Frey said.

The move also reflects a shift away from doctors working close to hospitals, and instead opening offices closer to where patients live. Like many health systems, Frey said Amita is treating more patients in doctor’s offices and other outpatient sites than ever before.

The Illinois Facilities and Services Review Board, which determines the fate of health care projects in the state to prevent duplicating services, must approve Amita’s application for the medical office buildings.

Both of the proposed medical office buildings would be housed in former Dominick’s grocery stores. The Bartlett location initially would have 16 to 18 physicians who specialize in family medicine, surgery, cardiology and gastroenterology, among other specialties. It also would include imaging services, such as MRI, ultrasound and CT scanners, and an immediate care center.

The estimated $26.5 million Bartlett facility would be less than a mile from both DuPage Medical Group and Northwestern Medicine doctor’s offices. This underscores how competitive health systems have become to poach patients and focus on prevention in an era where insurers are paying doctors to reduce costs while improving the quality of care they provide.

Downers Grove-based DuPage Medical is the largest independent physicians group in the Chicago area, and Streeterville-based Northwestern is one of the biggest health systems in the region.

The estimated $28.8 million Woodridge office would have 14 to 16 physicians and similar services proposed for the Bartlett facility.

Expect Amita to hire more doctors and other providers as the system revamps its outpatient services, Frey said.



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