While other specialty hospitals in Indianapolis are joint ventures between hospitals and groups, a large orthopedics group plans to build and run its own 60-bed orthopedics hospital, to open by late 2004.
"If physicians manage it, they will do a far better job," says David Fisher, M.D., president of OrthoIndy, the 65-physician orthopedics group planning the new hospital.
Fisher says his surgeons sometimes wait until "9, 10, 11 o'clock at night" at Indianapolis hospitals for last-minute cases.
The new specialty hospital will cost $24 million and handle up to 7,000 inpatient and outpatient cases the first year, he says. Twenty percent of the inpatient surgeries currently performed by OrthoIndy surgeons will move from area hospitals to the new physician-owned hospital, Fisher says.
Indiana's first specialty hospitals, two Indianapolis cardiovascular hospitals jointly owned by separate practices and hospitals, will open next year, says Thomas Neal, a healthcare attorney at Krieg DeVault in Indianapolis.
Neal says Indiana hospitals lack a certificate-of-need system to block the OrthoIndy venture, but they may respond by helping competing orthopedics practices grow.