Tennessee approves $17M orthopedic surgery center

Johnson City, Tenn.-based Watauga Orthopedics received a certificate of need to develop a $17.3 million orthopedic surgery center in Johnson City, local news affiliate WJHL.com reports.

What you should know:

1. The state Health Services and Development Agency voted in favor of the request.

2. The project was being contested by Holston Valley Surgery Center, which is co-owned by Addison, Texas-based United Surgical Partners International, Johnson City-based Ballad Health and a group of local physicians. The group argued the new surgery center would dilute its utilization below 70 percent of capacity, which a state guideline specified would lead to a project's rejection.

An attorney for Watauga said the capacity numbers Holston Valley specified were miscalculated. The attorney said two surgery centers in the area were operating at 90 percent and more than 100 percent capacity.

3. The state department rejected arguments about overcapacity when granting its approval.

4. The practice plans to break ground this year. It expects the center will be operational within 18 to 24 months.

More articles on surgery centers:
5 employees of U of New Mexico outpatient surgery center test positive for COVID-19
ASC leaders on top priorities during COVID-19 pandemic
ASCs projected to take 68% of orthopedic surgeries by mid-decade — 5 insights

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