Blessing Health System issued the following announcement on July 10.
As part of Blessing Health System’s ongoing commitment to providing the best possible care for the region, Blessing Corporate Services Board Chairman Tim Koontz today announced plans to relocate Blessing’s existing ambulatory surgical treatment center (ASTC) to the hospital campus on 11th Street.
“Blessing Hospital is evolving to meet the healthcare needs of the patients we serve,” Koontz said. “The relocation of our existing ASTC will provide the region with the same great service they have come to expect from Blessing Health System, in a state-of-the-art, stand-alone ASTC, which offers our patients and payors a cost savings.”
Blessing’s current ASTC is located in space it leases from Quincy Medical Group at 1118 Hampshire Street.
The proposed, stand-alone center would be a two-story building, connected to the main Blessing building complex by a sky bridge. The nearly 36,000 square foot building would be constructed in the area that currently houses the physician parking lot. The area is bordered by Spring and 12th Street.
“The community has expressed the need for greater convenience and ease of access when needing healthcare, as well as competition and choice,” Koontz said. “The relocation of Blessing’s outpatient surgery services will have the convenience of outpatient care with the security of being in close proximity to the Hospital. Area patients will have the high level of care they need and deserve at competitive prices they can afford.”
The center will house three operating rooms, larger than those currently available, and three procedure rooms. Construction cost would be approximately $21 million, which is within the state’s standard of construction costs per foot for ASTC facilities.
The lease for the current surgery center expires in 2023. There is a five-year extension option. At this time Blessing will not execute the additional five year lease option, but is instead looking to move forward with their plans to relocate the surgery center.
Koontz said the relocation process requires approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board through the Certificate of Need (CON) process.
“Now that Quincy Medical Group has received approval for their own surgery center, leasing space from QMG is no longer a viable option,” Koontz said. “In order for us to compete, we need to have our surgery center in a building we own so that we can continue to provide the safety net services our community needs.”
The CON is being sought now to give time for construction to be complete ahead of the current lease expiring.
“Instead of paying a lease, those funds will be used to pay for a building Blessing owns,” said Julie Brink, chairman, Blessing Hospital Board of Trustees. “Moving the surgery center to a building we own shows our commitment to provide quality healthcare to the community, not just in the short term, but for a long time to come.”
“As the healthcare needs of our community change, Blessing evolves to meet those needs,” Brink continued. “This relocation project is part of our continuing efforts to give back to the community and to provide a high level of care to meet the changing healthcare needs of the people we serve.”
If Blessing’s CON is approved later this year, its relocated would be open in January 2022.
Blessing will hold a series of community forums on the ASTC relocation. The dates, times and locations will be announced when the schedule is finalized.
Original source can be found here.