Jerome Tannenbaum, M.D., has resigned as chairman and CEO of the dialysis provider National Nephrology Associates, Nashville, Tenn., to start a specialty hospital company.
The new company, Diversified Specialty Institutes, also based in Nashville, will focus on certain subspecialties not served well by large medical surgical hospitals, says Tannenbaum, who will serve as chairman and CEO.
"I think this is the way modern healthcare will be delivered," Tannenbaum says. "Hospitals today were built around a theme developed 100 years ago. In my opinion, the advent of procedural medicine over the past 20 years, with sophisticated surgical techniques, has changed the way we do medicine and can be more efficiently delivered though specialized facilities."
Diversified Specialty Institutes will partner with both physicians and hospitals and will target states that do not have certificate of need laws regulating new hospital construction.
The first project will focus on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, drawing on the experience of Diversified's co-founder, executive vice president and chief surgical officer, G. Patrick Maxwell, M.D.
In 1990, Maxwell helped establish the Institute for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. Although it broke ground as an advanced specialty plastic surgery center, Maxwell says the institute never met its goal to become a freestanding facility and has fallen down on the hospital's priority list.
"We don't fit into anyone's plans for the future," Maxwell says. "The bottom line is plastic surgeons don't really know where to look for a venue to offer their services."
From the patient's perspective, treatment at the institute was excellent, he says. "They got specialized care and service in an emotionally supportive environment as opposed to being thrown in the mix of a busy general hospital."
The negative side was that physicians were never allowed to be partners who were responsible or accountable for the cost-effectiveness of their services, Maxwell says.
"Plastic surgeons in many states are not allowed to operate in offices anymore," Tannenbaum adds. "And some of the procedures they do really tend to take a long time and don't lend themselves to the classic ambulatory surgical facility. By designing a facility geared toward plastic surgeons, we can give them ample time in the operating room and build separate areas for patients who require inpatient stays and others with outpatient needs."
Maxwell says the efforts of Diversified will recreate a venue in which plastic and other surgeons can thrive.
"But this time, we?ll do it more accountably by having financial responsibility in addition to individualized and specialized patient care."