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© 2001-2002 Sharon Regional Health System • 740 East State Street • Sharon, PA 16146
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October 2002

Sharon Regional strongly opposed to development of for-profit ambulatory surgery facility in Transfer

From the October2002 issue of Sharon Regional HealthNEWS

Sharon Regional Health System, its board of directors, and members of its medical staff executive committee strongly oppose the development of the proposed for-profit Surgery Center at Edgewood Place in Transfer. It will include five operating rooms, two endoscopy suites, and a pain management suite.

Developers/major owners Kurtis Gramley, of Sharon, and anesthesiologist Ron Prizant, M.D., of Boardman, are seeking local physician-surgeon investors to purchase “equity shares” in the project in return for retaining a minority interest and earning significant profits. The developers project a profit margin of more than 38 percent by the fifth year of operation and an annual return on investment of 245 percent.

For-profit, limited-service ambulatory surgery centers typically divert the healthier and well-insured patients away from full-service, non-profit, community hospitals. This depletes the economic resources of the hospitals and threatens their ability to provide full service to their communities, particularly to vulnerable populations like the poor and elderly with medically complex conditions.

Sharon Regional is very concerned that surgeons who invest in these centers have a self-serving incentive to take their patients to the Center, since they have a direct investment interest in the facility’s profitability. It is unfortunate that a small minority of the physicians in Mercer County find it necessary to become directly involved in a for-profit investment venture that could produce such serious consequences for the community.

Sharon Regional appreciates the majority of loyal, caring, unselfish physicians who are not part of this venture
, who support their community hospitals by participating in emergency call coverage, voluntarily serving on committees to assure quality care, providing care to the poor and underinsured, and assisting the hospital in other ways to fulfill its community mission.

We hope the community supports our efforts to maintain a strong, community hospital with the resources available to provide care and services to all in need, regardless of their ability to pay, by joining us in expressing opposition to this center.