Physician-owned Texas Spine & Joint Hospital will undertake an $8.6 million renovation, even though a provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act passed recently by the U.S. House of Representatives would allow the physician-owned Texas Spine & Joint Hospital to go forward with its original plan for a $37 million expansion project.
Texas Spine & Joint to renovate, not expand
"We had Plan A," said hospital spokeswoman Leslie Fossey. "This is probably Plan ZZ."
Expansion of the 20-bed Texas Spine & Joint was thwarted when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed on March 23, 2010, and hospital owners teamed up with the Physician Hospitals of America trade group in a lawsuit seeking to throw out section 6001, which restricts expanding capacity at existing physician-owned hospitals. (Another provision of Section 6001 prohibits new physician-owned hospitals from receiving Medicare payments unless they had a Medicare provider agreement in place by Dec. 31, 2010.)
Although Section 2213 of the Middle Class Tax Relief bill would allow physician-owned hospitals to expand, Fossey said the hospital could no longer "sit and do nothing," and that the renovations were necessary.
"We found a way to stay within the law and do some renovations and give our patients more space," she said.
Dr. Michael Russell, a partner with the hospital and president of Physician Hospitals of America, said the revised project meets Tyler city officials' demands that the hospital add more parking and also allows for more outpatient treatment.
"We're not expanding; we're not adding any operating rooms," Russell explained.
The project was started in October, and Russell said plans call for it to be completed within the next 12 months.
"Historically, if you're a growing hospital or a growing business, then you're a vital business," he said. "If you're not growing, you're dying. That’s basically business 101."
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