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What you need to know for 01/21/2018

Doctors planning Halfmoon surgery, pain clinic

Doctors planning Halfmoon surgery, pain clinic

A group of physicians specializing in pain management wants to open a $1 million surgery and pain ce

A group of physicians specializing in pain management wants to open a $1 million surgery and pain center on Route 9 in Halfmoon.

The Northway Surgery and Pain Center would diagnose and treat patients living with chronic pain and offer same-day surgery. The nearly 10,000-square-foot facility would be built at 1596 Route 9, a vacant parcel subdivided from the larger Southview Apartments development a few years ago.

The physicians formed a limited liability company, Northway SPC LLC, to run the facility. Drs. Edward Apicella and Martin Ferrillo, of the Albany & Saratoga Centers for Pain Management, will have most of the ownership in the new center. Drs. Charles Gordon and Quentin Phung, of New York Pain Management, will have 30 percent ownership. Heritage Ambulatory Surgery Center Alliance will provide consulting and administrative services to the center.

Apicella, who would serve as medical director, and Ferrillo could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

“They will offer interventional medical treatments for pain and perform minimally invasive procedures that mitigate pain,” said Halfmoon town Planner Rich Harris. “They’ll have doctors’ offices on site, in addition to outpatient surgical procedures.”

Currently, these procedures are provided locally in private physicians’ offices. But in recent years, the state has sought to increase its oversight of pain management procedures. One of the ways to do this is to allow for more ambulatory surgery centers that specialize in pain management services. These must be licensed and accredited by the state Health Department, and certified by Medicare. Benefits to the provider include additional income streams and an organization that has market value, meaning it can be sold down the road if they so wish.

The state approved the group’s proposal in June with a list of conditions, mostly regarding construction details and timelines. The town Planning Board is reviewing the project and getting feedback from the town engineer on the physical layout of the facility and its infrastructure needs at the Route 9 site, Harris said.

The project will cost just shy of $1 million and employ 22 or 23 full-time employees in the first three years. The first year of operation is expected to bring in nearly $6.3 million in revenue in the first year, with more than $3.1 million in expenses.

More than 8,200 procedures are expected in the first year, with nearly 10,000 by the third year.

It will serve patients from Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Fulton, Montgomery, Warren and Washington counties, without regard to their ability to pay. A majority of patients would come from primary care physician referrals, with others coming from emergency departments and clinics.

St. Peter’s Hospital told the state it expects a loss of nearly $1 million a year if the center opens, since the physicians involved in the new center currently refer their patients to the Albany hospital for spinal surgeries. The state concluded the projected loss is speculative.

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