Charlotte Hungerford Hospital seeks majority interest in Torrington endoscopy center for $3.3M

BY John Stearns

The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington is seeking state approval to acquire a majority stake in a Torrington endoscopy center for $3.3 million, according to documents filed with the state Office of Health Care Access.

The 122-bed hospital, which became part of Hartford HealthCare last year, intends to purchase a 51 percent stake in The Endoscopy Center of Northwest Connecticut LLC, according to the Certificate of Need filing. The purchase would be funded with operating capital.

The endoscopy center, which does more than 3,900 procedures annually, is an outpatient surgical facility owned and operated by five physicians providing endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures, gastrointestinal screenings and other services related to the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. The center, at 245 Alvord Park Road, will not change locations and services will not change, according to the filing.

"Healthcare reform has necessitated a re-alignment of the traditional interactions between hospitals and physicians through the creation of new models to accelerate change and bring higher quality services at a lower cost to patients and payers alike," the filing says.

The physician owners' decision to partner with Charlotte Hungerford is based on their long-standing relationship with the hospital and aims to "further advance a 'value-based' approach to providing services and the development of a clinically and financially sustainable model to better serve the needs of the community," according to the applicants.

The physicians all have active privileges at the hospital and will continue to perform inpatient and outpatient procedures there for those patients who have significant co-morbid conditions, the filing says, adding that patients will be able to more seamlessly navigate between inpatient and outpatient settings for gastroenterology procedures.

The proposal will create efficiencies and cost savings for the endoscopy center, including lower costs for medical supplies and drugs, and for administrative services such as billing, legal services and marketing, the filing says.