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Truman Med Breaks Ground On New Hospital Hill Outpatient Center

Alex Smith

Truman Medical Centers' new outpatient center will provide a range of medical services beyond the acute care for which the system is best known.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday morning, Truman President and CEO John Bluford said the center — a four-story, 90,0000-square-foot building at Truman's Hospital Hill campus costing $29 million — was a symbol of the alliance between Truman and its physician partners.

“There’s always been a partnership,” he said. “But we haven’t been linked at the hip with regards to risk and rewards. They are separate payment streams that come to physicians for the services they provide and to the hospital for the services it provides. A facility like this joins them.”

The center will house a walk-in surgery center, a diagnostic imaging center, and an ear, nose and throat center. Other services will include physical/speech and occupational therapy; oral and maxillofacial surgery; orthopedic surgery; urology; podiatry; and audiology.

The center, at the northeast corner of 22nd and Charlotte streets, will be the first stand-alone facility Truman has built on Hospital Hill since 1998. It will also serve as a hub for eye care, numbering among its tenants the Sabates Eye Center, UMKC Vision Research Center and Eye Foundation of Kansas City.

After the groundbreaking, Bluford indicated that the creation of the new center was motivated in part by measures in the Affordable Care Act penalizing hospitals for readmissions. 

“That is part of the reason that the system is transforming to ambulatory versus in-patient care,” he said.

The site is part of a Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority urban renewal area.

Landmark Healthcare Facilities will own the building and is funding 88 percent of the building's costs. Rent proceeds will be shared by Landmark and Truman.

The Hospital Hill Outpatient Center is scheduled to open in early summer 2015.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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