When Rodney W. Rieger, MD, and his colleagues, orthopaedic surgeons in Geneva, Ill., decided to develop a building for their practice with an ambulatory surgical center on the second floor, the main objective was to provide quality care for the patients.
The ambulatory surgical center was developed to improve patient care, not as a money-making scheme, although the surgical center is profitable, says Dr. Rieger. "From the very start the main objective was to have control to maintain quality care," Dr. Rieger stressed. In fact, the orthopaedists in the Fox Valley Orthopaedic Institute asked the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to evaluate the ambulatory surgical center and it was awarded a certificate of accreditation with commendation.
Obtaining financing was not half as difficult as securing a Certificate of Need (CON) from the state of Illinois. The orthopaedists received the CON by showing that the ambulatory surgical center would allow the practice to provide global care of patients from diagnostics and surgery to rehabilitation. The orthopaedists obtained $4.5 million in financing for the building and equipment through a private bond issue backed by the lender. Each of the five partners who were members of the practice each guaranteed one-quarter of the loan.
Dr. Rieger sums it up: "The development of the ambulatory surgical center allowed us to offer more to the patient, enhanced quality and allowed the orthopaedists to stay in control."