Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which has faced regulatory hurdles in some areas of the country where it is trying to expand, has found a friendly environment for its new hospital in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear.
Zion-based Cancer Treatment Centers said it is finalizing an agreement with a private developer and the City of Goodyear to build a 210,000-square-foot hospital there. The facility will be the fourth hospital operated by Cancer Treatment Centers as it pursues a nationwide expansion plan.
Unlike Georgia and Washington, which have state regulations called certificates of need that have slowed Cancer Treatment Centers' ability to expand, there is no such regulation of health facility expansions in Arizona.
The Goodyear facility, which will cost about $70 million, will have 25 in-patient rooms with the ability to treat 150 patients a day. Construction is scheduled to begin in October, with a January 2009 opening planned.
Cancer Treatment Centers already has hospitals in Tulsa, Philadelphia and Zion, where its flagship Midwestern Regional Medical Center is located. The facilities offer traditional treatments of cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplants, along with other services such as organic food, vitamin therapies, massage and nutrition.
Cancer Treatment Center executives say they want to have at least six hospitals across the country in the next five years, putting the facilities within 300 miles of most Americans.
"On average, our patients are traveling more than 500 miles one way to treat at our hospitals," said Cancer Treatment Centers Vice Chairman Robert Mayo. "Our patients have asked us to build hospitals closer to where they live. We are thrilled that we will be able to provide care at a facility closer to our patients living throughout the Western United States."
But Cancer Treatment Centers has an uphill climb in the Atlanta and Seattle areas.
In those markets, opponents have argued in part that Cancer Treatment Centers would be adding excess capacity where there are ample cancer facilities at existing hospitals. Such arguments are common in certificate-of-need states, where specialty hospitals have difficulty gaining entry to a market.
Cancer Treatment Centers will resume lobbying the Georgia legislature later this year to amend the state's certificate-of-need laws to allow "consideration for a destination hospital," a company spokesman said.
In Seattle, Cancer Treatment Centers lost an appeal with an administrative law judge within the state department of health, which oversees the certificate-of-need process there.
WATER STREET ADDS STAKE: Private-equity firm Water Street Healthcare Partners said it has committed $50 million in equity to acquire a majority stake in Alpine Biomed and related investments in the California-based diagnostic company.
Chicago-based Water Street, which focuses exclusively on investments in the health-care industry, said Alpine will gain market share in producing diagnostic products used for a severe form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
As part of the equity commitment, Water Street is purchasing a neurology diagnostic line from Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., which is divesting "non-core" assets to focus on its primary heart devices business.
The neurology line from Medtronic will help bolster Alpine's product portfolio, Water Street said.
Hear Bruce Japsen on WBBM-AM 780 at 6:21 p.m. and 10:22 p.m. Mondays and 11:20 a.m. Saturdays.
INSIDE HEALTH CARE