Amita Health eyes $43 million expansion – Health Care News

on Jul28

27 July 2017 | 6:00 pm

Amita Health wants to build a $43 million orthopedics institute and heart and vascular center in La Grange, following its recent announcements about expansion of outpatient facilities across the western suburbs.

“This is an opportunity for us to rethink how we do those kind of services across both organizations,” Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health, which form Amita, said Michael Murrill, CEO of Amita Health Adventist Medical Center La Grange. “This will give us an advantage in the market that meets the needs of the patient as well as the physician.”

The two-floor, 30,000-square-foot facility would sit directly between the hospital and Amita Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale, a hospital two miles away.

The orthopedics institute would feature six operating rooms dedicated to knee and hip replacement surgeries and a separate inpatient unit. The heart and vascular institute would house cardiac testing and rehab services and an outpatient clinic for patients with congestive heart failure.

Cardiac and orthopedic treatments are the two most profitable areas in health care, said Allan Baumgarten, an independent analyst in Minneapolis.

“Those lines of business, at least for now, are lucrative for both Medicare and commercially insured patients,” Baumgarten said.

The Illinois Facilities & Services Review Board, which determines the fate of health care projects in the state to prevent duplicating services, must approve Amita Health’s application. Murrill said he expects to get the approval and construction to begin late this year, lasting up to 21 months.

A recent Moody’s Investors Service report noted that Adventist’s Chicago-area hospitals lag in comparison to their other markets in part because of the area’s steep competition. Michael Goebel, CEO of Amita Health Hinsdale, says the La Grange expansion would help Adventist better compete with Advocate Health Care, MacNeal Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center and Edwards-Elmhurst Health.

“Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have really good hospitals in the suburbs, and it’s forced us to be better,” Goebel says. “We’re allocating a lot of services dispersed across our market that both physicians and patients benefit from. As we build our outpatient footprint across our markets, we look for driving distance that’s easiest for the patient. It’s all around the migration to more of an outpatient focus.”

Amita’s move reflects a shift from doctors working close to hospitals and instead opening offices closer to where patients live. Like many systems, Amita has said it’s treating more patients in doctors’ offices and other outpatient centers than ever before.

Amita Health, which operates nine hospitals, was formed in 2015 when Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health came together to form a joint operating company.

Amita Hinsdale also will renovate its neurosciences institute in the coming months, adding an outpatient pain management clinic. Goebel declined to comment on the cost of renovations or timeline for construction.

Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates plans to create a $19.5 million joint replacement center, although the company declined to comment on when the facility will be built.

In May, Amita Health announced plans to build a pair of medical office buildings in northwest suburban Bartlett and southwest suburban Woodridge. Baumgarten says the company is expanding across areas with expected long-term population and employment growth.

“One of the reasons they are launching these new institutes now is they are concerned that if they don’t, some of their competitors may stake out that turf and try and bring their own specialty centers to that segment of the region,” Baumgarten said. “There’s value attached to being the first, or the biggest, or the brightest and newest, especially when it come to these lines of specialty services.”



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