Nathan Littauer, Albany Med propose medical facility off Route 30 in Amsterdam

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Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Business, Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

AMSTERDAM — Nathan Littauer Hospital and Albany Medical Center are planning to collaborate on a new medical facility off Route 30 in the town of Amsterdam.

Albany Med would construct the 10,000-square-foot building and Littauer would lease 7,000 square feet of it for an urgent care/primary care clinic.

Albany Med put the proposal for 375 Golf Course Road before the Planning Board in August. Littauer submitted its request for a certificate of need to the state Department of Health in mid-September.

Albany Med said Thursday it plans to use its portion of the building to provide vascular surgery, neurosurgery and pediatric specialty services that are not currently available in the area.

Littauer spokeswoman Cheryl McGrattan discussed the proposal with The Daily Gazette on Wednesday.

“We have been looking for space on the Route 30 corridor for a while,” she said, explaining that Littauer’s existing primary care/specialty care/pediatrics office on Route 30 in the town of Perth has gotten too busy for its size.

The initial consideration was expansion in Perth but the final decision was to collaborate with Albany Med at the Golf Course Road site, 3.8 miles south. In its application, Littauer puts the cost at $5.6 million.

Albany Med will be providing medical services at the site as well, McGrattan said. But the joint venture is not a step toward affiliation with Albany Med, which has brought three other regional hospitals under its wing in recent years, forming a health care network stretching 110 miles north to south.

“It is our plan to remain the independent hospital we are,” she added.

Affiliation is a long-running trend in the health care industry, with independent hospitals increasingly rare due to the higher costs of operating on their own.

Satellite locations for primary care and urgent care are another long-running trend for hospitals, allowing them to better serve their communities and capture more revenue in the process.

The Golf Course Road site is only a half-mile from the Route 30 campus of St. Mary’s Healthcare, a hospital that bucked the industry trend by ending its affiliation with Ascension to return to independent status this year.

St. Mary’s said Wednesday it does not feel threatened by the facility proposed 3,000 feet up the road from its Route 30 campus. Such proximity is not uncommon in the medical industry — in fact, St. Mary’s operates an urgent care clinic in Gloversville just 1,500 feet from the door of Littauer’s emergency room.

In an email, St. Mary’s said:

“For more than a century, St. Mary’s Healthcare has been an established leader for health services in Fulton and Montgomery Counties. Coexisting with other healthcare options in our market is nothing new. St. Mary’s Healthcare currently has many services that overlap different geographies and demographics in the Greater Capital Region.”

St. Mary’s noted that it has had positive collaborations with other healthcare providers and organizations, and would consider additional options.

It’s a busy time for both Littauer and St. Mary’s.

Littauer cut the ribbon on a new medical arts building on the Gloversville campus Sept. 22, broke ground for a new primary care office in Caroga Lake on Sept. 24, and on Monday will welcome a new CEO to take over from Laurence Kelly, who is retiring Friday after 19 years in the role.

Last year, St. Mary’s opened its first Saratoga County site, a new urgent care clinic in Charlton, and expanded the pharmacy at its Guy Park Avenue campus in Amsterdam. Later this month, it will open a podiatry health center at the Guy Park Avenue campus and break ground on an expansion of the Rao Outpatient Pavilion on the Route 30 campus.

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