Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., this week launched a $30 million outpatient cancer center designed to compete for managed-care contracts and boost Chicago's Roman Catholic healthcare network.
It's the second major business move this month by Loyola, a 561-bed academic medical center. Loyola is expected to be the tertiary facility that will anchor an 11-hospital network being developed by the Catholic Health Alliance of Metropolitan Chicago.
"We're looking to aggressively work in the managed-care arena with insurers, businesses and other healthcare providers," said Richard Fisher, M.D., director of the cancer center and Loyola's division of hematology/oncology. "No other facility in this part of the Midwest combines in one location all of the treatment programs with an array of specialists dedicated to the cancer patient, and no other facility (in Chicago) completely integrates clinical care with research and education."
The move also will enhance Loyola's recent announcement of merger discussions with 370-bed West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Ill. The partnership with West Suburban would create a single healthcare system under one parent corporation and a single board of directors.
The Catholic hospitals are deciding this month whether to proceed with the network's business plan. Some also are being courted by the five other networks under development in the competitive Chicago market.
But Loyola's cancer center could enhance the other hospitals' decisions because the move to outpatient care will lower costs for Loyola, which is typically viewed as a high-cost teaching facility.
Executives said they didn't have savings figures available, but they said they expect 33,000 cancer center visits annually.
The 125,000-square-foot cancer center opens this week. "This will be to-tally dedicated to outpatient care and allow us to do research and clinical trials," Dr. Fisher said.
It will include 34 laboratories, each occupying about 500 square feet of space, and hematology/oncology clinics for adults and children.
Executives eventually expect Loyola to be designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.