Tennessee regulators have approved a certificate of need for a partnership of St. Thomas Health Services, Nashville, United Surgical Partners International (USPI) and physicians to build an ambulatory surgery center in Smyrna, Tenn., but an HCA-owned hospital may appeal the decision. The state Health Services and Development Agency board voted 6 to 2 to approve the project. St. Thomas and USPI would each own a 35% stake in the $8.8 million center and the physician investors would own the remaining 30% interest, according to a summary of the CON application. St. Thomas is a five-hospital Roman Catholic system that is part of Ascension Health, St. Louis. USPI is an investor-owned chain of ambulatory surgery centers based in Addison, Texas. The surgery center would be built across the street from Nashville-based HCA's 75-bed StoneCrest Medical Center, which is scheduled to open Nov. 30. StoneCrest CEO Neil Heatherly said the CON decision is premature, since healthcare needs for the area can't be determined until his facility opens. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenn. partnership receives OK for surgery center
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