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Cleveland’s competitive East Side suburbs will soon see a new hospital, but its developers say it won’t look or feel anything like one.

A team of more than 20 independent doctors have come together with a single vision: a specialty hospital for doctors who want to showcase their skills, believe in a patient centered culture and are looking for a “beautiful place where they can add value and improve our quality,” said John Lin, CEO of Premier Physicians and the concept developer for Manna Isle Ohio, which will develop the yet to be named hospital in Beachwood.

Under construction at the corner of Richmond Road and Chagrin Boulevard, the for profit, full service hospital will specialize in orthopedics, urology, general surgery and gastrointestinal procedures. The hospital, slated to cost between $50 million and $60 million and open in late 2018 or early 2019, will be built for hospitality and comfort in collaboration with Aurora based luxury inn and spa Walden.

It’s the latest in a series of bold moves by independent docs in the region a group that has seen its ranks thin considerably in recent years as the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals acquired several independent practices. In late July, Premier Physicians and Jubilee Healthcare, which does business as NorthShore Healthcare, announced they would merge into a single independent group.

“We want to have the top doctors in a beautiful facility where the patients come first, and they’re treated like the most important people in the facility,” Lin said.

Lin and Dr. Reuben Gobezie, a local physician who’s started various practices, shared the idea of a specialty hospital a facility focused on certain service lines in the hopes of what they say will improve outcomes, lower costs and improve patient experience. Soon thereafter, Rob Rosencrans, managing partner of Walden, joined the team, bringing his perspective on customer service, environment and aesthetic. Walden a AAA rated, 5 Diamond inn will manage the patient experience and design interiors.

“Just because it’s health care doesn’t mean it can’t feel good,” said Rosencrans during an interview in one of the Walden’s suites that feels more like an upscale studio apartment than a hotel.

The hope is to draw inspiration from the zen like luxury of the Walden, Lin said. It offers the feel of a very comfortable, beautifully designed home, but is not over the top, he said.

“You hire health care architects to design a hospital, they’re going to design you a nice glass box or a nice concrete, sterile box,” he said. “Although that can look really elegant and really nice and really expensive, it wasn’t the home feel that we wanted, and it didn’t reflect our personalities.”

Staffed with 150 to 200 employees, the 69,800 square foot, inpatient hospital will have 25 patient beds, six to eight operating rooms and 24 hour emergency room services. Areas of the two story building at 25501 Chagrin Blvd. in Beachwood include the ER, radiology, surgery,
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physical therapy and a patient care wing. Hasenstab Architects of Akron is the architect of the facility, which will have a facade to match that of the adjacent building.

The developer, Manna Isle Ohio, will own the hospital, while the physicians will manage it.

Although the hospital could remain independent, Lin said they are considering a plan to partner with a health care system that shares their values.

Doctors specialize in nose, bones, heart, eyes, lungs and on and on. But the facilities in which they practice aren’t specialized, Lin notes.

“And we don’t really understand why that’s not the case,” he said.

From the person who brings a patient to their room to the nurses to the surgeon and team to the person who cleans the instruments after an operation, everyone is specialized in that field, Gobezie said. The efficiencies and competencies that come with that repetitive work help to define a specialty hospital, he said.

“We’re never going to do everything and do it all really well,” Lin said. “The only way for us to do something better than anyone is if we specialize in the things that we’re good at.”

Right now, the hospital’s specialized services are based on the expertise of the physicians who are on board, but Lin said those could expand as they find other top specialists.

As word gets out about the project and as the building continues to go up, Lin wouldn’t be surprised to see the more than 20 physicians involved double by the time they open.

With University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center down the road and Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest just a few miles away, the East Side suburbs certainly aren’t facing a shortage of capacity.

Allan Baumgarten, a Minnesota based health care consultant who studies the Ohio market, said he’s not surprised to hear that the hospital is slated for Beachwood.

These types of developments are often in areas with higher median household incomes and good employer group insurance coverage. Beachwood’s median household income, for example, sits at $84,219, making it the 19th wealthiest suburb in Northeast Ohio, according to a recent Crain’s ranking based on census data.

Beachwood, Lin said, made sense for both its location that’s centralized for where doctors live and work, and for the demand he sees from the community.

The hospital will be able to treat all patients, but will not hesitate to send them to a facility that has better expertise in an area. Lin said he sees the other hospitals in the market as partners, and expects the specialty hospital will be sending patients to them.

“If we are not the best to take care of them, we will send them across the street to facilities that can,” Lin said. “There are a lot of other able hospitals in our market.”

The high end, hotel like experience shouldn’t cost patients more, Lin said. Indeed, he expects the smaller facility and specialization to reduce costs.

In theory, a hospital that aims to deliver higher quality services at lower costs should do well in the market. But with the fee for service model that hospitals still in many ways operate in today, there can be some challenges in being able to work with payers and commercial insurance companies a roadblock that has come up for specialty hospitals and other models in the past, Baumgarten said.

“Opening hospitals is not for the faint of heart,” Baumgarten said. “There are a lot of things that can go wrong.”

Lin said the new hospital will accept Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance coverage.

Lin and Gobezie are confident that they can carve out a space in the market for a specialized hospital through referrals and the networks of the doctors behind the project.
Discount mulberry mitzy messenger Outlet New specialty hospital slated for Beachwood