Two doctors will now be allowed to build a private ambulatory surgery center in Orangeburg.
The Regional Medical Center dropped its litigation against general surgeon Dr. Dion Franga and radiologist Dr. Amit Sanghi of Ambulatory Partners LLC.
The Orangeburg doctors plan to build a surgery center across the street from the hospital.
According to a joint press release issued by RMC and AP LLC, the surgery center will include two operating rooms and procedure rooms, as well a separate imaging center.
“Once the ambulatory surgery center is constructed and licensed by Ambulatory Partners, RMC may utilize the surgery center for certain days each month pursuant to a lease once it has applied for and obtained licensure to do so,” the joint release stated. “If RMC obtains licensure, the parties will operate the surgery center on scheduled days, but will not overlap.”
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The new imaging center will be owned and operated by Ambulatory Partners, but will be jointly managed with RMC, according to the release.
The surgery center will serve patients across a range of specialties, including general, orthopedic, GI, ENT, ophthalmologic and podiatric surgery, as well as interventional pain management, according to the joint press release.
Construction on the project is projected to begin in 2023, the release states.
“The parties believe that this resolution is beneficial for the community and look forward to working together in the future,” the release said.
The resolution has been a long time coming.
The doctors first announced their intentions to build the 16,640-square-foot facility in April 2020.
The initial projected cost of the facility 2-1/2 years ago was about $12.5 million. Projections are the cost now could be about $16.3 million.
Ambulatory Partners submitted its certificate of need application to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, which must approve such facilities. The process is intended to reduce the duplication of services.
A week after the doctors asked the state to approve their plans for an ambulatory surgery center, RMC submitted an application to spend $2.4 million to develop an ambulatory surgery center.
RMC challenged the doctors’ application for a certificate of need, saying the private facility would harm the public hospital financially.
Ambulatory Partners has consistently said its center will benefit the community by capturing patients who seek care elsewhere.
DHEC voted in favor of Ambulatory Partners.
RMC challenged that decision.
The matter was to appear before the state's Administrative Law Court, but was delayed to give the hospital and doctors a chance to settle out of court.
Both parties eventually decided to do just that.