Physician buys 2 Illinois ASCs' assets for $50K after one halts operations

An Illinois partnership shut down Belleville (Ill.) Surgical Center and sold Physicians' Surgical Center to Shakeel Ahmed, MD, after both Belleville-based facilities lost surgeons to local hospital groups. 

Six key details:

1. Belleville Surgical Center, a limited partnership partially owned by Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates, gained state approval to permanently discontinue operations at its four-room ASC of the same name. Operations at Belleville Surgical Center had been temporarily suspended Aug. 24, 2018.

2. The entity said it wanted to shut down Belleville Surgical Center and sell operations of another ASC it owned — Physicians' Surgical Center — because surgeon departures caused unsustainably low utilization.

3. The number of procedures performed at Belleville Surgical Center dropped from 1,519 in 2015 to 1,019 in 2017. The primary physician who practiced at Physicians' Surgical Center stopped doing cases there when he took a position with a local hospital.

4. Dr. Ahmed purchased Physicians' Surgical Center's operations, as well as Belleville Surgical Center's land and building, for $50,000. The transaction closed upon state approval. Dr. Ahmed is affiliated with Metroeast Endoscopy Center in Fairview Heights, Ill.

5. Physicians' Surgical Center's net patient revenue was $5.66 million in 2017, down from $20.31 million in 2016. Belleville Surgical Center saw a similar drop in net patient revenue, from $20.31 million in 2016 to $6.2 million in 2017.

6. SCA owned about 51 percent of Belleville Surgical Center in the limited partnership, and various physicians each owned less than 5 percent of the remaining interest.

"Many previously independent physicians in the area have moved their practices to new hospitals in Shiloh [Ill.] and O'Fallon [Ill.] and have become part of the hospitals' medical groups. Because of this shift in referral patterns, the surgical center experienced a significant reduction in procedures, and the facility has become financially unsustainable. The unsustainability of the operation is evidenced by the fact that no purchaser of the operations could be found," Belleville Surgical Center said in a state filing.

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