Redmond Regional Medical Center, a private facility, has been the sole provider of open heart procedures in Rome since 1985. This comes after Redmond announced plans late last fall to seek approval to offer perinatal, birthing services, which has previously been the sole domain of Floyd Medical Center.
“It’s a competitive market, there’s no question about it, and we need to position ourselves so that we can compete,” said FMC President and CEO Kurt Stuenkel. “We will be competitive and I think that will be better for the insurance companies, and obviously the patients as well.”
Redmond Regional Medical Center CEO John Quinlivan declined to comment on the Floyd proposal.
Open heart surgery involves a variety of procedures, the most common being heart bypass and valve repair or replacement.
FMC is proposing to spend $25 million to develop space and add on to one of its buildings in order to provide the highly specialized service.
Stuenkel said the letter of intent to file an application with the Department of Community health was submitted to the state Monday and that the actual application would be filed by the end of February.
“We’ve got a good cardiology program here that’s been growing, and it’s the next logical step in our development,” Stuenkel said. “We’ll explain the whole rationale in the certificate of need (application). We have significant volume share that when a Floyd patient is in need of open heart services we have to transfer them. We think it would be better to provide that care right here.”
Stuenkel said the work would involve renovations of the ground floor surgical areas, the addition of operating rooms and post-operative rooms as well. Post-surgical space would be located on a new floor added to a building constructed about ten years ago.
Redmond is in the process of a $13 million expansion and modernization which will include a new open heart suite.
“We have continued to advance the technology and services available,” Quinlivan said.
Rome currently has three cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Dan Goldfaden who started the Redmond program 33 years ago, Dr. Dhru Girard and Dr. Cyrus Parsa.
Redmond is still waiting on a decision from the Department of Community Health on its application to provide basic perinatal services, a program which would cost an estimated $21.8 million to start up. The DCH CON webpage indicates a ruling on that application is expected by the end of March.
Stuenkel said the state had opened up a new cycle for applications, and he suspected there would be a number of hospitals across the state who would be making application to provide open heart services as well.