WellSpan Health Announces City of Lancaster Ambulatory Surgery Center Project | Local Business

York-based Wellspan Health is building a 34,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center at the Citygate Corporate Center in the City of Lancaster.

When it opens in the summer of 2024, the surgery center will employ 50 to 70 people, said James Stuscio, senior vice president of Wellspan Eastern Region.

The health system has eight hospitals, including Welspan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata Municipality. Other hospitals are in Adams, Franklin, Lebanon, York, and northern Maryland.

WellSpan Health has declined to share the cost of the project because plans for care and services there have not yet been finalized. Succio said it’s not uncommon for ambulatory surgery centers to cost “several seven figures.”

An ambulatory surgery center under construction in Lancaster will be about the same size as the Mill Creek Shopping Center Christmas tree shop. The building will be a two-story building built over a parking lot. Located at Citygate on Fruitville Pike near Route 30, this property is owned by Oak Tree Development Group.

What is an ambulatory surgery center?

Ambulatory surgery centers focus on providing day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures. There are 271 such facilities in Pennsylvania, 15 of which are in Lancaster County.

Surgery centers are often less expensive for patients than hospitals.

“According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), outpatient surgical centers are often 45-60% cheaper than hospital surgeries and generally tend to be safer for patients. “By combining improved affordability with localized, high-quality care, this is a win-win for patients,” said Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Wellspan Health. Dr. David Gasperak, co-author, said in a news release.

Demand for outpatient surgeries is also increasing locally, and this is a national trend.

“We are listening carefully to the patients who come to us for treatment,” Succio said, adding that the expansion is related to patient demand. “Others in the market are seeing more demand from ASCs (ambulatory surgery centers) than they can handle.”

Nationally, inpatient revenues were flat in 2022 compared to 2021, according to a January report from Illinois-based medical consulting firm Kauffman Hall. Meanwhile, outpatient sales increased by 8%, according to the report.

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integrated system

The center will be home to several of Wellspan’s specialty practices and advanced diagnostic services and is part of Lancaster County’s strategic expansion.

“It’s really about developing an integrated network for healthcare,” Gasperak said. “Lower cost, higher quality care. That drives us to look for better ways.”

In addition to the new surgery center, Wellspan will also build an ambulatory endoscopy center at 4150 Barrett Blvd to expand its gastrointestinal medical services. Located in West Earl Township. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2024. Succio said the endoscopy center is an extension of the sports and pain medicine campus in the Brownstown area. Gastrointestinal health procedures offered at this location include colonoscopies, esophagogastroduodenoscopies, endoscopies, hemorrhoid banding, and more.

The Endoscopy Center and Ambulatory Surgery Center follow a recent WellSpan EMS partnership with the Christiana Regional Ambulance Association. The health system recently expanded its Wellflight air ambulance fleet by partnering with Air Methods to deploy helicopters to Stevens Fire Company’s new base in East Cocalico Township. Air ambulance services Lancaster and surrounding counties.

Outside Lancaster County, Wellspan this week signed a contract with Emerus, the nation’s first and largest neighborhood hospital operator, to build three new hospitals that will expand access to inpatient care in Cumberland and York counties. announced. These ‘small’ or ‘neighborhood’ hospitals will operate 24/7, with emergency departments and up to 10 inpatient beds, similar to larger, conventional hospitals.

Succio acknowledged that Lancaster County has long been a competitive healthcare market. According to the latest Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Control Council report for 2021, Wellspan Ephrata accounts for about 11% of hospital admissions in the county, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital about 57%, and UPMC Lititz about 8%. The Pennsylvania Department of Health opened a hospital in the county in October.

The expansion comes at a time when the healthcare system is in financial trouble. More than half of US hospitals were operating at a financial loss by the end of 2022, according to the American Hospital Association.

WellSpan also faces such challenges. In the last six months of 2022, excess earnings over expenses were $58.3 million against a budget of $134.1 million, according to a recent bond disclosure. In 2021, revenue over expenses was $229.8 million.

In its Fixed Income Ratings report, Moody’s Analytics said Wellspan Health is facing an “increasingly fluid and competitive environment, with the entry of many large systems and payers, expectations of increased capital expenditures over the medium term, and changes in payers. It expects to face the challenge of a “strong service sector”. Mix in government reimbursement. Moody’s also said the positive outlook for the healthcare system is based among other things on “further growth of companies and diversification of geographic locations.”

Succio noted that Lancaster County patients could benefit from the competition.

“One of the by-products of competition is the quality of care that this new project will bring,” he said. “Competition brings greater choice.”

Healthcare construction boom: Lancaster County project aimed to provide 'efficiency and effective change' for both doctors and patients

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