Surgery center gains approval

The Certificate of Need Review Board approved a plan yesterday to allow St. Vincent’s Health System to construct an outpatient surgery center at its One Nineteen Health and Wellness facility.

Jeri Evans, vice president of off-site development and executive director of One Nineteen, said the system saw a trend in the U.S. 280 area.

“There is no ambulatory surgery center or provider of ambulatory surgery in the area served by St. Vincent’s One Nineteen,” Evans said. “We have continued to add medical services and physician offices to that facility. The addition of ambulatory surgery is a natural extension of our commitment to the community.”

In June, an administrative law judge ruled the system had not demonstrated a confirmed need for the center. He said the facility would only take away from the hospital’s patient flow at its main campus. The board rejected that claim and approved the project 3-1.

Evans said anticipated growth in the county drove the proposal. Shelby County is expected to see an increase of 85 percent by 2025. The county’s over 65 population is expected to grow by an even faster rate, Evans said.

Plans for the ambulatory surgical center include two procedure and four operating rooms. It will be connected to the existing facility and supported by diagnostic services such as MRI, CT, X-ray, mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and laboratory services.

Evans added that the medical services would be complemented by wellness services, a medical fitness center and a medical day spa.

The $3.6 million plan was opposed by Brookwood Medical Center. Brookwood submitted its own proposal for a surgery center to be located in Vestavia Hills. The verdict is also still out on both systems’ plans for free-standing emergency departments also to be located in the vicinity of U.S. 280 and Highway 119.