Florida ASC faces continued opposition from hospital

At a Dec. 7 city commissioners' meeting, officials from Jackson Hospital in Marianna, Fla., protested the city's proposed incentives for the Tallahassee Orthopedic Center to open an outpatient facility there, ABC affiliate WMBB reported Dec. 8.

Representatives from the hospital said they opposed TOC opening a separate diagnostic imaging and physical therapy facility in addition to the outpatient surgery center, the report said. Hospital officials said it would compete for the same patients and could cost hundreds of jobs.

Joe Gay, MD, a Jackson Hospital internist, said it will threaten the hospital's future.

"No matter how agreeable a partnership has been with the Tallahassee Orthopedic Center in the past, if they were to proceed with the development of their own surgery center, it would impact the financial health of our hospital," Dr. Gay said.

Hospital officials previously said they hoped the orthopedic practice will consider a joint venture ASC with Jackson Hospital as the majority owner.

"[I]t will keep our hospital alive," Jackson Hospital physician Richard Christopher, MD, told NBC affiliate WJHG. "If we don't [agree on a joint venture], this hospital is going to die, and I bet it'll die within five years."

Commissioners asked the Tallahassee Orthopedic Center to accept $200,000 in economic incentives in exchange for postponing the diagnostic imaging and physical therapy centers until five years after they open the surgery center, the report said.

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