What: On Tuesday the state of North Carolina’s Certificate of Need agency granted Novant Health Franklin Medical Center approval to move one rarely used operating room from the hospital to join a previously approved new operating room in Youngsville. The decision allows Novant Health Franklin Medical Center to move forward with plans to open a freestanding, multi-specialty outpatient surgery center with two operating rooms and one procedure room in Youngsville, NC.
Why: Relocating one operating room from the hospital will leave two operating rooms at Franklin Medical Center and will allow the creation of Franklin County’s first freestanding, multi-specialty surgery center with two operating rooms. This new surgery center will balance the geographic distribution of the four total operating rooms in Franklin County and will increase local access to surgical services for all residents of Franklin County. The two remaining operating rooms in Louisburg will be dedicated to inpatient and outpatient surgeries at Franklin Medical Center, while the two rooms in Youngsville will be used to perform outpatient surgeries in an accessible and cost effective surgery center setting.
Currently, thousands of Franklin County residents leave their home county for their outpatient surgical needs. The closest surgery centers outside of Franklin County are hospital-based centers, where patient copays are often higher than at freestanding surgery centers like the proposed facility in Youngsville. The Youngsville surgery center will improve local access to surgical care and will provide Franklin County residents with a more affordable, high-quality option.
Novant Health is a not-for-profit system, so positive net revenue generated by the Youngsville surgery center will stay within Franklin County and allow for improvements and upgrades to be made at the facilities in Louisburg and Youngsville. Additionally, expanding options for surgical care in Franklin County will bring more physicians and surgeons to the area and may increase the number of specialty physicians in the county.
When: The state issued their decision on Tuesday, April 29. Entities that oppose this decision have 30 days from April 29 to file an appeal.
Where: One of Franklin Medical Center’s three operating rooms is currently unused. Novant Health is seeking the state’s approval to move the unused operating room to the surgery center in Youngsville. The single relocated operating room will be moved from Louisburg, approximately 15 miles to the southern part of Franklin County in Youngsville. Two operating rooms will remain at the hospital in Louisburg, and two operating rooms will be built at the surgery center in Youngsville. The proposed project will give Franklin County residents local access to four operating rooms.
Background: Since assuming ownership of Franklin Medical Center in October 2009, Novant Health has invested $2.8 million in a new geriatric behavioral health unit, and has been dedicated to recruiting new physicians to the area. Additionally, Franklin Medical Center spent $3 million in 2012 treating charity care patients. According to the North Carolina Justice Center, Novant Health has the most generous charity care policy of any system in the state. It is imperative that the facility and its affiliated physician practices be able to grow and expand services in order to continue this level of support to the citizens of Franklin County.
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