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Thursday, 28 February 2013 09:02

Metro Health, physicians group propose ‘center of excellence’ in orthopedics

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Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS — A new partnership with the area’s largest orthopedic group will allow Metro Health to begin building a medical specialty.

Metro Health and Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan will jointly develop a “center of excellence” that will build up inpatient orthopedic care at the health system’s Wyoming hospital campus. 

The partnership builds on a three-year arrangement between the two where OAM surgeons perform all of their outpatient procedures at Metro’s MidTowne Surgery Center on Michigan Street near downtown Grand Rapids. The group performed more than 4,000 procedures at MidTowne in 2012 and with the pending opening of a fourth operating room, expects to do 5,000 annually. 

The new arrangement represents “the logical next step” for the two, Metro Health President and CEO Mike Faas told MiBiz. 

Metro wants to build up specialties in orthopaedics and heart and cancer care. Expanding the relationship with OAM “starts us out not just gently in the service line, but at full speed,” Faas said.

“We thought we could have the biggest impact in that service area and we already have a partner that we know and trust,” Faas said. “We have a logical partner we can move forward with quickly.”

The new partnership won’t affect Orthopaedic Associates’ ties with other hospitals, most notably at Spectrum Health where the group’s surgeon also perform inpatient procedures.

“Our goal is to work with everybody,” said OAM President Jim Ringler, who specializes in trauma surgery.

The deal with Metro will build the group’s practice in the Grand Rapids area, he said.

“Our hope is that it expands our horizons,” Ringler said. “It really is all about expansion.”

At the Metro Health Hospital campus, Orthopaedic Associates wants to develop a center of excellence with the health system that “will provide the highest quality of orthopedic are available,” he said. New inpatient services at the Metro campus could include joint replacement, sports medicine and spinal surgery, Ringler said.

As inpatient orthopedic volumes grown at the hospital, Metro Health is planning to create new outpatient capacity. The health system plans to develop an outpatient surgical center in a vacant 80,000-square-foot medical building on Cascade Road at East Paris Avenue.

Metro plans to seek state certificate-of-need soon for an outpatient center at the site that will have three operating rooms and then add two more in the future, Faas said.

The new facility will enable Metro to recapture patient volumes in eastern and northern Kent County that were lost when the health system’s hospital campus opened in 2007 on the opposite side of town.

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