Cedar Point Health is the first tenant announced for the hospital’s ambulatory care center | Local News

Montrose Regional Health Ambulatory Care Center has its first tenant owned by a group of physicians.

Cedar Point Health announced Friday that it has signed a letter of intent to take the entire second floor, or approximately 20,000 to 21,000 square feet, of the four-story medical specialty center to be built at the River Landing development in south montrose.

Cedar Point intends to consolidate its three medical practices — which between them currently serve about 17,000 patients — in the new location.

The decision is part of a commitment to keep medicine in the community, as well as to streamline services and even expand care options, CEO Cory Phillips told the Montrose Daily Press on Friday, hours after briefing the Cedar Point staff for the decision.

“We are really pleased to collaborate with the hospital. It will be about more coordinated and integrated care for our patients and we believe, after weighing many different perspectives and considerations, that supporting our local community hospital is the right way forward,” said Phillips. “It preserves care in our community, it preserves autonomy (making) our local community better” than a larger outside organization would.

“We grew up at Cedar Point Health. We operate in three different clinics here in Montrose, so we sought a solution to operate more efficiently and provide better care for our patients,” said Dr. Justin Tanner, one of Cedar Point’s nine physician owners.

The owners of Cedar Point were looking for a place where patients could receive care in one building, instead of having to bounce between three different ones, depending on their specific needs.

“It’s going to streamline patient care and it’s going to help solve some of the efficiency issues that we had. We were sort of looking for a solution, and then the hospital started looking for a solution to their needs at the same time. It’s great that we can come together and support our community hospital,” Tanner said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have them partner with us,” said Montrose Regional Health CEO Jeff Mengenhausen, who called Cedar Point’s move a “tipping point” to secure investors in the group. of doctors.

“It’s the first big one. I think that’s going to be the tipping point. As they’re the largest primary care group in our area, that’s key to the success of this building and the success of the hospital. “said Mengenhausen.

The hospital announced the proposed 80,000 square foot Ambulatory Care Center in February, which will provide outpatient services such as laboratories, physiotherapy, day surgery, specialty care, medical imaging, mammography and more.

In an announcement dated a day before the hospital’s announcement, the Colorado Outdoors commercial/residential development in north Montrose announced that a 50,000 square foot freestanding medical center was being built there. QHR Health will operate this facility through its subsidiary Velocity Surgical Management.

The hospital and QHR have different views on the ability of the market to support two similar facilities, which would compete for patients, staff and, potentially, investors.

QHR’s CEO said Colorado Outdoors Medical Center will pick up patient “leaks” in the form of people who are already seeking outpatient care in other communities because it’s not available here. Having an outpatient center will help the hospital, Dwayne Gunter said after QHR’s announcement.

The hospital disagreed and stressed its demands as a non-profit hospital to maintain care for the indigent regardless of how many paying patients it might lose, saying the QHR does not does not have the same requirements.

Phillips and Tanner said the hospital reinvests its profits back into the community.

Tanner said it’s important for community members to understand that a community hospital treats all patients. When a community hospital loses paying or insured patients, it still has to provide care for others — the uninsured; those whose debts may need to be forgiven, or Medicare/Medicaid, where reimbursement levels are lower.

If an entity without that accountability can “skimme” paying patients, he said, that can put enough financial pressure on a hospital it can’t sustain, opening the field for a for-profit hospital to take on. relay.

“That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” Tanner said, meaning the loss of a community hospital.

Cedar Point wants to retain its independence and also support the hospital and believes the project helps support long-term sustainability, he and Phillips also expressed.

Not all Cedar Point patients require the same types of care. In addition to consolidating all primary care practices into one, it makes sense to add services that some patients need, Phillips and Tanner said: The volume of patients justifies it.

Possible additions to available services are still being evaluated against patient demand. These could include rheumatology, endocrinology and allergists.

“We are blessed in Montrose to have what we have: a non-profit community hospital. They take all of their profits and reinvest in the community,” said Tanner, a Montrose resident of 10 years who came to town when the hospital recruited him. “Being able to work with the hospital is important to Cedar Point Health and to supporting everyone’s missions,” he said.

“The buzzword in health care right now is called value-based care,” Phillips said. “It’s about maximizing the quality of care at the lowest cost and that’s what we’re focusing on. … The care setting and environment are important.

Outpatient care tends to be cheaper. Medical imaging and surgery in such a setting, for example, can cost between 30 and 50 percent less, according to information from Cedar Point.

Additionally, Cedar Point says its evaluation of patient data helps it intervene earlier in chronic diseases before conditions worsen and then become more costly to manage.

In addition to owner-physicians, Cedar Point Health has between 28 and 32 providers offering internal medicine, family medicine, some level of OB/GYN care, behavioral health services, and physical therapy. About 18 to 20 of these providers come to the new ambulatory care centre. Others remain at MRH as hospital workers or at Cedar Point urgent care sites.

Additionally, the Cedar Point physical therapy site will continue.

The Cedar Point team includes doctors, nurses, physician assistants and patient service specialists.

Cedar Point’s new location places it farther from Montrose Regional Health’s main facility, the hospital. Currently, two of his practices are within a few blocks of the hospital. That won’t be a problem, Tanner said — Cedar Point hospitalists will stay at MRH to care for non-surgical, non-pediatric patients in the hospital.

“Our Cedar Point Health patients are already receiving care from Cedar Point Health providers and physicians who are dedicated and spend all of their time in the hospital,” Tanner said.

The hospital will own the property on which the care center is located and lease it to NexCore, a healthcare development and real estate company that will organize the construction operations.

Mengenhausen said the first floor of the outpatient care center is largely full. The third is that of the MRH and the fourth will be the surgery center. Discussions with other potential partners are continuing.

“There is still plenty of room for smaller partners in the building,” he said.

Groundbreaking is expected in July, with the aim of seeing patients for the first time in September 2023, Mengenhausen said. The hospital previously obtained a height variance for its building and is submitting the necessary information for the city’s final approval and public notice process.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is associate editor and senior editor of the Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is associate editor and senior editor of the Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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