Beaufort Memorial Hospital is expanding its outpatient surgical services with the purchase Monday of the Surgery Center of Beaufort.
The sale has been in the works for months, hospital president and CEO Rick Toomey said.
The center opened in 2000, and 40 percent of the facility was already owned by the hospital, which is about a quarter of a mile north at 1033 Ribaut Road.
The center has a staff of 40 doctors performing an average of 450 procedures a month. That includes four general surgeons, seven anesthesiologists and specialists in ear, nose and throat, gastroenterology, gynecology, ophthalmology, oral surgery, orthopedics, pain management, podiatry and urology, according to a news release. Many of the doctors were already on the hospital’s staff before the purchase.
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“Our focus is solely on surgery, so we’re able to offer high-quality, professional care delivered in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible,” center director Carolyn Evec said in the release. “Patients find the smaller setting to be more personal, convenient and comfortable.”
Patients will see an increase in fees, but procedures at the outpatient center should cost less than at the hospital, Toomey said. Jeff White, hospital senior vice president, has been working with Blue Cross/Blue Shield on fee structures.
Full ownership means the hospital can consider long-term investment in new equipment for the center, Toomey said, as well as potentially adding more operating rooms. The center has four general operating rooms and one gastrointestinal/endoscopy room, while the hospital has seven and two, respectively.
“It’s amazing how much more and more surgery is being done on an outpatient basis,” he said.
The hospital’s operating-room schedule can be interrupted by emergencies, while an outpatient center’s schedule is more stable and predictable, Toomey said.
“This gives the patient the option for a location that is less chaotic.”
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