POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In an unprecedented move, Portneuf Medical Center and Mountain View Hospital have entered an agreement with Bingham Memorial and Skyline Surgery Center that will allow all three hospitals to utilize the surgical center.
Bingham and Skyline have a previous relationship, working as partners for the past six years, but the new joint venture, finalized just over a month ago, will give Portneuf and Mountain View access they've never had before.
"Portneuf Health Partners has never had an ambulatory surgery center in its system," Portneuf Medical Center CEO Daniel Ordyna said. "This allows us to have a low-cost option for our employees, for any of the members in the patient quality alliance, so we're excited about being able to provide more access to more people in the community."
Skyline has been performing outpatient procedures since opening its doors in 2008. One of the founders, Dr. Ryan Hope, said that the new partnership allows them to expand their services and give more options to physicians.
"This is a really unique collaboration that you're not gonna find elsewhere and so for that reason, it's very special," Hope explained. "All the hospitals can now play in the same sandbox."
In addition to giving more physicians and patients access, the center will also see growth in its services, such as gastroenterology, and capacity.
Bingham has already experienced the benefits of the partnership with Skyline and CEO Jake Erickson said that the group effort helps move each party forward.
"It'll provide an opportunity for more patients in the area to receive low-cost care in this facility here at Skyline," He said. "That was our purpose of getting together was we look at the future of surgery, and the future of surgery is outpatient procedures."
Under the former partnership with Bingham, Skyline averaged about 350 cases per month, a number that is expected to rise significantly.
The three hospital collaboration will give patients at Mountain View and Portneuf a lower cost alternative for simple outpatient procedures.
"I would guess that it's probably, easily, going to be, you know, 40 percent cheaper for certain surgeries that could be done here versus at a hospital," Ordyna said.
Now, the partnership will give two hospitals (Mountain View and Portneuf) access they would normally have only obtained by building their own centers.
"So instead of every hospital building their own surgery center and competing against each other in the same market, we decided it would be best to partner with the local physicians here, along with the hospitals, to provide that care," Erickson said.
Although the hospitals have come together for this, each one still knows there will be competition going forward, but it is their belief that the benefits of this outweigh the downsides.
"We felt like we had that one goal of providing more access, higher quality, and we've mentioned many times, the lower cost option," Ordyna said.
Higher volumes and lower costs are expected to immediately impact Southeastern Idahoan's having any of the multitudes of outpatient procedures the center performs.
"As long as it can be done within a 23-hour stay, we can do it at Skyline," Hope said.