New ASCs triumph despite opposition: 3 cases to know

Three ASCs in the last year have been approved despite facing opposition from residents and other health systems in the area. 

1. Plans for two ASCs in Alabama were granted certificates of need in September despite opposition. 

Infirmary ASC, a planned multispecialty center in Mobile, will include four operating rooms and four procedure rooms. It was granted a certificate of need over opposition from Springhill Medical Center and The University of South Alabama Health, both based in Mobile.

The Laser Eye Surgery Center of Florence will be an eye ASC with two operating rooms and one procedure room. It was approved over opposition from Shoals Outpatient Surgery.

2. In August, a $67 million, 163,000-square foot medical complex under construction in Amherst, N.Y., faced criticism from the town's residents. The medical complex is tied to UBMD Physicians' Group and Kaleida Health — both based in Buffalo, N.Y. — and is being developed by Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. 

Some residents told The Buffalo News the negotiations were unfavorable to taxpayers, and that they are worried the complex is unnecessarily taking away parkland and displacing young athletes. Residents are concerned the town will have to spend millions to build new football, softball and baseball fields that are being eliminated by the development, according to the report. 

Despite the opposition, the project is still under construction. 

3. Last July, The Heart & Vascular Institute of Alabama was cleared to build a single-specialty ASC in Montgomery after facing opposition from other health systems and ASCs in the area. The project faced more than a year of opposition from other providers, including the Healthcare Authority for Baptist Health; Prattville, Ala.-based Jackson Hospital & Clinic; and Jackson Surgery Center. After an administrative law judge twice recommended denying approval, it secured the judge's recommendation June 29, and the certificate of need review board approved the application July 22. 

The providers who opposed the project said it will lead to an "unnecessary duplication of services." Baptist South, for example, already has three cardiac catheterization labs, according to documents presented by the opposing providers, and has seen a decline in outpatient catheterization cases in the last three years. 

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