MAYWOOD, Ill. — Loyola University Chicago is scheduled to break ground Aug. 16 on a new $137 million medical research and education building at its Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. A collaborative project with Catholic Health East-Trinity—the parent of Loyola University Health System—the five-story, 227,000-square-foot Loyola University Chicago Center for Translational Research and Education is scheduled to open in April 2016. “This project is one of the most significant outcomes of the partnership of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System and CHE-Trinity,” Michael Garanzini, Loyola University Chicago president and CEO, said in a news release. When CHE-Trinity acquired the health system from the university in 2011, a commitment to share in the cost of the new facility was part of the agreement. The center will be used by staff and students at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niefhoff School of Nursing to work on practical applications of medical discoveries as well as “desktop research” in bioinformatics, epidemiology, health services and public health. It will include a 250-seat auditorium, which is expected to provide a link between the university and local community. — Andis Robeznieks
MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio — The paint on the walls at MetroHealth’s new $23 million health center in Middleburg Heights has barely dried, but that hasn’t stopped Southwest General Health Center—the dominant healthcare force in southwestern Cuyahoga County—from taking digs at its newest competitor. In an interview with Crain’s Cleveland Business, Southwest CEO Thomas Selden blasted MetroHealth for opening a health center roughly two miles southeast of his hospital and chided the health system subsidized by Cuyahoga County for offering what he characterized as duplicative services. Selden, whose hospital boasts a leading 42.5% market share in the area 20 miles southwest of Cleveland, said MetroHealth would have been better served by investing the $23 million in its aging campus in Cleveland. “This is not McDonald’s versus Burger King, where you have McDonald’s on one corner, then Burger King building on the other,” Selden said. “These are hospitals building right next to each other.” Selden sent a letter this month to local residents that accuses other hospital systems—only MetroHealth is mentioned by name—as charging a facility fee “just to walk in the door.” MetroHealth’s new CEO, Dr. Akram Boutros, defended the facility fees as nothing new to the healthcare landscape. “Of all the hospitals you could attack over this issue, how could you attack the hospital that provides the largest portion of free care in the county?” Boutros said. Selden, meanwhile, defended Southwest’s own $128 million construction project, which includes an expanded emergency department, a new critical-care unit, the conversion of most of the hospital’s two-person rooms into private suites and a new patient bed tower. “We’re building something the public has asked for,” Selden said. “They want more privacy and comfort.” — Crain’s Cleveland Business
DETROIT — Now in its fifth year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan’s patient-centered medical home program has certified 3,770 physicians in 1,243 practices for 2013, a 25% increase in physicians from 2012. As the nation’s largest medical home program, Blue Cross provides financial incentives to primary-care physicians to work more closely with patients and specialty doctors to improve their health and monitor their care. “Physicians and their care teams are improving patient outcomes, which leads to lower costs because there is less need for testing and hospital care,” said Dr. David Share, Blue Cross’ senior associate medical director of quality. “We are seeing continued growth because there are a lot of practices waiting in the wings to develop medical home capabilities.” Medical home practices offer a variety of services to their patients. Physicians in the program provide evening and weekend appointments, nutritional counseling, home-care links to community services and care coordination with specialty physicians, and they use a disease registry or electronic health-record system to track patient care. More than 1.1 million Blue Cross enrollees and nearly 2 million patients in Michigan have access to Blue Cross medical home physicians. Another 1,000 physicians are taking steps to become certified as medical home providers. During the first three years of the program, Blue Cross recently documented that medical home physicians avoided $155 million in costs to Blue Cross and patients. Other medical home programs in Michigan include Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan of Michigan and Priority Health, which has an office in Farmington Hills. — Crain’s Detroit Business
The five-story, 227,000-square-foot Loyola University Chicago Center for Translational Research and Education is scheduled to open in April 2016.