Elective Surgeries Suspended in Cedar Rapids

With the continuing spread of COVID-19 within the U.S., Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Physicians, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health authorities, to care for affected individuals while taking steps to limit person-to-person spread within our communities.  

At this time, we have collectively decided to temporarily postpone, non-life threatening, non-urgent surgeries and procedures. This step will impact elective surgeries and procedures at the Cedar Rapids hospitals and Surgery Center. Care teams at each entity will begin the process of reaching out to affected patients to reschedule. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will reassess on an ongoing basis.

The health and safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority. We believe taking this step now, is the best interest of all and will help us protect our valuable resources, which is our healthcare workers, providers and will also preserve supplies during this challenging period.

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Surgery Center Cedar Rapids Completes 100,000 Procedures, Saving Patients and Community over $100 Million

February 2018 – Fifteen years ago, several groups of community surgeons joined together with St. Luke’s Hospital and announced plans to operate Cedar Rapids’ first and only certified outpatient surgery facility, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids.  On February 14, 2018, Surgery Center will perform its 100,000th procedure, and has saved patients and insurance companies more than $100 million dollars by offering a high quality, lower cost alternative for multiple outpatient surgical procedures.

The state-of-the-art facility is designed for efficiency and convenience to handle an array of surgical and procedural specialties that don’t require inpatient hospitalization. 

“St. Luke’s decided nearly fifteen years ago that working in partnership with community physicians to offer a lower cost, quality alternative for surgery was in the best interest of the community.” said Ted Townsend, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s.  “Over the years, the bulk of St. Luke’s lower intensity surgeries migrated to the center and the results have been fantastic, but saving this community over $100 million in just fifteen years exceeded even our expectations. Hitting our 100,000 case milestone is proof positive that this was an alternative the community welcomed.”

Since 2003, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids saved individuals and their insurance providers $114 million as compared to the same procedures performed in a hospital-based setting.  The majority of the financial savings go to insurance providers who cover the bulk of the procedural costs. But patients still saved more than $22 million in copays and deductibles. 

“As patients continue to pay for a larger share of their health care coverage every year on top of their monthly premiums, the savings becomes more noticeable.” said Dr. David Hart, President and Medical Director of Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa.  “Outpatient surgery facilities have become commonplace throughout the country and are extremely popular because they offer a lower cost as well as convenience to patients.  We are very pleased that Cedar Rapids area residents have had access to this type of facility.”

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SCCR and PCI Team up for First Outpatient Total Joint Replacement

December 07, 2016  -  Surgery Center Cedar Rapids (SCCR), Cedar Rapids’ only designated ambulatory surgery center, and Physicians' Clinic of Iowa have teamed up to perform total hip and knee replacement procedures on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can go home the same day as their surgery to recover. Jeffrey Nassif, MD, FAAOS, orthopedic surgeon at PCI, is performing the surgeries at SCCR, which is the first ambulatory healthcare facility in Cedar Rapids to complete these advanced surgical procedures.

Dr. Nassif and his partners at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa perform hundreds of joint replacement procedures each year, but until now, have only done so in a hospital setting.

Traditionally, knee or hip replacements were done in a hospital, where patients stay to recover for several days. At SCCR, a patient receiving hip or knee replacements is admitted very early in the morning, goes through his/her final health screening and preparation, move to the operating room for the approximate 90-minute procedure, and then begin surgical recovery. Within a few hours, when he/she is stable, SCCR nursing staff start the recovery process by helping the patient walk again and prepare him/her for discharge. The patient is then transported across a private skywalk to the adjacent PCI Medical Pavilion for physical therapy training, prior to heading home for the final phase of recovery.

“The advantage of performing these procedures at an ambulatory facility is that, for patients who are healthy enough, they don’t have to spend a night or two in a hospital, but rather they can go home on the same day,” Dr. Nassif said. “Transitioning these procedures to ambulatory surgery centers is taking place throughout the United States, where now over a 100 non-hospital facilities are performing hip and knee replacement on an outpatient basis. This option is ideal for healthy patients and represents probably the greatest advancement in total joint surgery in the last 15 years.”

Dr. Nassif and Surgery Center Cedar Rapids have been working on the hip and knee replacement program for more than 8 months. Experienced surgeons, anesthesiologists and nursing staff have developed the structure of the program for those patients who are healthy enough for the procedure and want to recover at home. This includes specific criteria, which approximately 30 percent of patients will meet, and ensures their ultimate safety.

The surgery center is a partnership including UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s Hospital and more than 100 Cedar Rapids community surgeons and anesthesiologists, which also make up its Board of Managers and the Medical Staff Committees. Surgery Center Cedar Rapids has been offering an ambulatory surgery alternative for patients for more than 13 years; more than 90,000 procedures have been performed there since its inception in October of 2003.

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