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Private hospital in Post Falls to remain physician-owned

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 6, 2020

Officials of Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls announced this week that the facility, which primarily provides elective surgeries, will remain physician-owned.  (Courtesy of Northwest Specialty Hospital)
Officials of Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls announced this week that the facility, which primarily provides elective surgeries, will remain physician-owned. (Courtesy of Northwest Specialty Hospital)
By Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

A private hospital in Post Falls that specializes in elective surgeries will remain under its current ownership after a previous agreement to sell the operation recently expired.

The physician-owned Northwest Specialty Hospital began in Coeur d’Alene in 1984 and moved to its current location in Post Falls in 2002. The ownership group signed an agreement in 2017 to sell the hospital to Tacoma-based MultiCare Health Systems, but that agreement expired at the end of September, CEO Rick Rasmussen said.

“We have an exceptional record of providing lower infection rates, some of the lowest costs in the region and superior patient satisfaction scores,” Rasmussen said. “As the region’s only five-star hospital, we are happy to announce that we will be able to continue our tradition of providing some of the best care in the country right here at home.”

The facility also operates as “medical tourism,” meaning that clients from across the country fly in and stay at the Coeur d’Alene Resort to have their elective surgeries performed in Post Falls, he said.

The hospital has a total of 43 rooms, and is barred under the Affordable Care Act from expanding any further. The agreement with MultiCare would have allowed expansion, Rasmussen said.

The current hospital has eight operating rooms, three procedure rooms and 32 in-patient beds. “We added two ORs, and we had to decommission two in-patient beds,” Rasmussen said.

While the sales agreement has expired with MultiCare, patients and employees will see no change in operations, he said.

“We take all insurance, Medicare and Medicaid,” he said. “As far as patients and staff, they really won’t see much difference at all. We will continue to grow and add more service lines to help our community.”

When Rasmussen joined the hospital in 2012 as chief financial officer, the hospital had 100 employees and served about 5,000 patients a year. While the hospital is barred from adding beds, it has added services, such has an urgent care, family medicine and surgery clinics.

“Currently, we have 450 employees and we’ll see 100,000 people this year,” Rasmussen said. “Northwest Specialty Hospital was founded on the premise that physician-owned facilities offer patients better care.”

The hospital is managed as a collaboration between Northwest Doctors LLC, a group of local health care providers, and Surgery Partners Inc., which operates more than 180 surgical facilities nationwide. The ownership structure recently added Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls, which is another physician-owned hospital that is part of the Surgery Partners group.

James Adamson, CEO of Mountain View Hospital, said in a news release he is excited to work “with the physicians and employees of Northwest Specialty Hospital to further the well-established patient-centric mission they have been working on for the past two decades.”

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