CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Construction is underway for a new independent surgery center and medical office space.
Surgeons spearheading this effort told us independent centers can be more efficient and cost-effective for patients, compared to hospitals.
The physician-owned facility is being built at the old Alstom Site on Riverfront Parkway, and is set to be complete in Fall of this year. According to a press release, the surgery center is part of the first new development within "The Bend," a 112-acre redevelopment of the former Alstom site on Chattanooga’s waterfront.
"I've been excited about this for a long time," said Dr. Jay Jolley, a spine specialist. He says the center will offer spine & orthopedic surgeries, and pain management procedures.
Jay Jolley and Matt Bernard are two of the doctors spearheading this effort.
"This is a common issue in Tennessee, where frequently, a lot of outpatient surgery is being done within the walls of an inpatient hospital," Dr. Jolley said.
Both Jolley and Bernard say outpatient centers can be more efficient than hospitals.
"It's just easier in and out, everything from not having to park in a big garage," Dr. Bernard said.
Plus, they say surgery centers can be less expensive for patients.
"Part of our job as stewards of medicine is to look at the excess costs, and the hospital, there is a lot of excess that happens there," Dr. Bernard said.
"You know, health care costs in the United States are just humungous compared to other countries. So I'm not suggesting this will cure that problem, but I think every little bit helps," said Dr. Jolley.
While the idea of an independent center is not unusual, Dr. Jolley says there’s a need for more in the Volunteer State.
"Tennessee really has a dearth of surgery centers and it's really more for a bureaucratic reason," he said.
He says building these centers requires a “certificate of need."
"There's a pretty high barrier to establish the necessity of it," Jolley said.
But now that it’s secured, they're optimistic for the future.
"If we can reduce that cost, but all the while still maintain safety, and the patient customer service, I think it's gonna be a win for everybody," Dr. Jolley said.
He says the surgery center will have about 13 doctors and four operating rooms.
Dr. Jolley says the first floor of the building will house the Riverfront Surgery Center, while the second floor will have medical office space. The building will eventually undergo a second phase of construction, expanding the total project size to 35,000 square feet, according to a press release.
He says there are only about two other independent centers in the Chattanooga area offering these types of services.