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Mercy Health to add outpatient centers in North Muskegon, Hudsonville

BY Sunday, October 15, 2017 08:00pm

Mercy Health wants to develop two new outpatient care centers in North Muskegon and the Hudsonville area.

The 30,000-square-foot North Muskegon center, planned for a site along Holton Road near the U.S. 31 exit, would consolidate three primary care practices in the area into a single location. It would house about 15 care providers with specialty care, urgent care, workplace health, a diagnostics lab, ultrasound and pharmacy, plus an anticoagulation clinic.

Meanwhile, the proposed outpatient center at 32nd Street and Quincy Street in Jamestown Township, south of Hudsonville and the I-196 interchange, would house four primary care providers with an eye toward growing to eight doctors, as well as an X-ray lab and similar medical services as the North Muskegon facility.

The Hudsonville-area project would expand Mercy Health’s presence in the southern Ottawa County health care market, where the health system has a primary care practice in nearby Jenison and opened a physician practice two years ago in Holland.

Both proposed projects roughly will cost a collective $20 million and are similar to a larger outpatient center Mercy Health opened in Rockford in 2014. They follow an ongoing trend in health care in which providers are moving away from care that’s centralized around a hospital and instead offer more services at a lower-cost outpatient setting.

“We want to make sure we have the right, balanced portfolio in that new health care delivery system. Everything’s kind of changing so we want to make sure we’re responding to the change,” said Roberta Jelinek, vice president of business development at Mercy Health. “We’re really looking at our whole portfolio and saying, ‘Where do we have sites that need to be updated or upgraded and where do we have patients that we need to serve that we’re just not there with the right services?’”

In the Hudsonville area, that means building in a market that has an increasing population and where Mercy Health has steadily added patients, partly driven by people moving from the urban setting in Grand Rapids to outlying areas.

“That’s a growing market and we find, like a lot of others are finding, that as our patients move out of the city and to these outlying areas, we have a lot of patients who are in that Hudsonville area,” Jelinek said. “We’re trying to be mindful of where the population is going and growing and trying to bring the right services to them.”

The proposed Hudsonville-area outpatient center is across the road from a primary care office operated by Metro Health-University of Michigan Health System.

Ken Bergwerff, the supervisor in Jamestown Township, welcomes Mercy Health’s entry into the market and the competition it generates. 

“I look at this as a valuable service to the community,” Bergwerff said. “With Metro and now Mercy, it gives folks choice.”

Mercy Health meets the existing zoning for the proposed project site, although the system will need to seek township approval of its site plan, Bergwerff said.

In planning for the outpatient centers, Mercy Health wants to design and develop new facilities that are efficient and better suited to today’s processes and team-based care between primary care physicians, specialists and support staffers.

Mercy Health is designing the North Muskegon facility with “doctors at our elbows,” Jelinek said.

“What we have found, as we are looking at our book of business and our portfolio, (is) there are some sites we have that need updating and just need refreshing, so that we can stay true to designing a model of care that we have now,” she said.

Mercy Health has no current plans for additional outpatient centers in the region, although it continues to track market demand and would move to address any gaps it identified, Jelinek said.

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