Iowa city needs $17.9M ASC to keep orthopedic costs down, physicians say

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Physicians in Iowa have asked the state to grant a certificate of need to build a $17.9 million freestanding surgery center that they say would keep orthopedic costs competitive in North Liberty, Iowa, The Gazette reported Oct. 13.

The proposed Steindler North Liberty Ambulatory Surgery Center includes a 71,000-square-foot orthopedic clinic and a 36,000-square-foot ASC.

But there is a potential roadblock: The proposed facility would be next to a $395 million University of Iowa hospital that received approval after its second certificate of need application in September.

In their application, physicians behind the ASC argue that building a private practice surgery center would create pricing pressure and "may invite development of a community hospital presence [Mercy or others] that would be operationally efficient, proper-sized, modern and ideally located," according to The Gazette.

They also argue that denying the application could lead to a monopoly by University of Iowa Health Care and reduce access to private practice physicians in the area.

Iowa's State Health Facilities Council is expected to consider the application for the surgery center later in October.

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