Crain’s NY Business
June 23, 2015
North Shore-LIJ's Growing Outpatient Presence
As part of an aggressive expansion of outpatient care, the North Shore-LIJ Health System has struck three recent deals, with many more planned.
About two years ago, the system began pursuing ambulatory surgery centers through its North Shore-LIJ Multispecialty Ventures unit. Through that branch and other entities, the health system has purchased majority stakes in five centers and is targeting 30 more in the next three to five years, said Rob Scoskie, the system's executive director of strategic ventures.
"We have recognized a real need inside of the broad market," he said. "When you look at New York state compared to the rest of the country in the arena of ambulatory surgery centers, we rank on a per capita basis as one of the least penetrated states in the country."
There were 129 freestanding ASCs in the state as of May 1, according to a DOH directory.
Two of the system's deals were struck in April and have certificates-of-need filed. Digestive Health Center of Huntington, L.I., a freestanding ASC with gastroenterology services, transferred 51% of its membership interest to a North Shore-LIJ entity. In Bay Shore, L.I., South Shore Surgery Center transferred a majority stake to North Shore-LIJ. The number of procedures conducted at the latter practice was up 37% last year, to 6,526.
The system will be filing another CON to acquire the Suffolk Surgery Center in Shirley, L.I., Mr. Scoskie said. He declined to disclose the price paid in all three deals.
The system also has ambitious plans to build its own outpatient sites.
"Most surgery doesn't have to be done in a hospital anymore, but you've got to create alternatives," said North Shore-LIJ Chief Executive and President Michael Dowling. "We plan to build about 50 ambulatory surgery centers. Our biggest expansion in the past couple of years has been ambulatory."
The system's outpatient effort has included massive properties: the 160,000-square-foot Lenox Health Greenwich Village freestanding emergency room and a 450,000-square-foot outpatient cancer care clinic adjacent to LIJ Medical Center. Meanwhile, the system has launched 12 GoHealth Urgent Care Centers, with plans to open about 60 in total.
"As patients are demanding more services outside the hospitals' walls, we want to be in those facilities," Mr. Scoskie said.