UPDATED – A group of 120 Wichita-area physicians is partnering with three national companies to start an 80-bed rehabilitation facility for post-acute care, first in east Wichita and then on the west side.
The group is breaking ground Monday at the Center at Waterfront, a 70,000-square-foot, three-story building at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road.
“It was designed around trying to put the care providers … back in the driver’s seat of managing patient care,” says Bradley Dart of Advanced Orthopedics Associates.
Dart says he first began thinking of the idea five years ago after national conversations about bundled health care were underway.
Never miss a local story.
He says the question became what’s the highest quality of health care at the most cost-effective level? The problem, he says, is that often after physicians treat patients in an acute-care setting such as a hospital, they leave to continue to recuperate elsewhere and the physicians aren’t as involved.
“We lose oversight of their stay and their care.”
Also, he says there aren’t a lot of options for where patients can be treated. For instance, someone with a hip fracture might not be ready to return home, but nor do they need a three-month nursing home stay.
“We saw this an an opportunity,” Dart says.
He says a lot of other Wichita-area physicians “in just about every medical specialty” feel the same way.
Dart says it’s not about “running a business but trying to provide that high-quality patient care that ultimately affects our outcomes.”
The joint venture includes Denver-based Development Solutions Group, a developer of medical properties, and Colorado-based Medexec Corporation and Veritas Management Group, which will manage the facility. Dart says they have proven track records.
“Which is great for us. We don’t have to really reinvent the wheel.”
Also, he says, “Their business model has been very physician-led.”
The center has a board of 12 physicians who represent various specialties. Some physicians will be involved in day-to-day operations, and some will have a role in quality assessment. Some are merely investors or will simply send patients to the center.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to have input,” Dart says.
The center will have indoor and outdoor physical therapy areas, dining and other food options, activity centers on each floor and a salon.
Plans are for the center, which will be directly behind Bonefish Grill and on the lake near Noah’s Event Venue, to open in March 2019.
At the very least, Dart also would like to see a west-side center. He says a lot of the physician partners have west-side practices.
Dart treats patients from around the state and several other states as well, so he says he sees an opportunity to take the concept elsewhere or help cities such as Salina, Manhattan or Pittsburgh develop similar models.
“Hopefully we can show that the concept is successful, and then it would be easy to duplicate … in other communities,” Dart says.
“I see a lot of potential.”