Elgin hospital outpatient surgery gets state board OK
An estimated $12.7 million plan by Advocate Sherman Hospital to build a same-day ambulatory surgery center on its Elgin campus Tuesday received a state health board's OK.
The proposed 15,000-square-foot center, which will provide outpatient services in general surgery, orthopedics, otolaryngology, ophthalmology and urology, was opposed by some area health care providers who argued there are enough options locally.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 6-0 to approve the plan, with two members absent, board administrator Courtney Avery said. The board had held a public hearing in November during which both supporters and detractors spoke about the plan.
The project will give patients greater access to high-quality, lower-cost care in a favorable environment, hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Benson said. Sherman President Linda Deering said she was "thrilled" by the board's approval.
"Two or three of the board members verbalized their support for our direction toward population health, and that they really believe we are doing the right thing for the right reasons in the right way," she said. "And they value that it's about care options at a lower cost point."
Hospital officials previously said the anticipated opening date was March 2019, but instead it will be June 2018 with construction likely starting in August, Deering said.
"I've got a shovel and I'll be there at midnight (to break ground)," Deering joked, "but no one is going to join me."
Centegra Health System spokeswoman Michelle Green said Centegra respects the decision of the state board "although we disagree with the need for this project based on an unnecessary duplication of services."
Centegra representatives said in November that other ambulatory surgical centers in the area have plenty of room for additional patients and would even lose patients if Sherman's center opens.
There are 28 such centers within a 45-minute drive of Sherman, with the closest one, Algonquin Road Surgery Center, less than 15 minutes away.
Sherman's planned center is a joint venture between the hospital, 13 physician investors and Deerfield-based Surgical Care Affiliates, which has more than 200 surgical facilities across the country.
Foes of the plan could elect to sue the review board to fight Tuesday's decision, Avery said.