San Antonio's newest hospital, the 54 bed Forest Park Medical Center, is set to open in October at Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 on the city's northwest side, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
CEO Julie Seale says it is a 'new concept' in medicine in San Antonio. Rather than the large corporations which run most of the city's hospitals, Forest Park is 70% owned by the physicians who will practice there. She thinks that will make the hospital more responsive to the needs of patients.
"Competition is a great thing, and I think that's one of the things that this facility brings," she said.
Forest Park currently operates hospitals in the Dallas Ft. Worth area which, like the one opening in San Antonio, are also physician owned.
Seale says Forest Park seeks to eliminate the 'scariness' of hospitals, with an appearance which is more like a hotel than a hospital. All of the rooms, for example, are private rooms, and some actually allow parents and spouses of patients to stay in the room with them.
When you walk into the rooms, the ominous wires and connections for oxygen and other items which are familiar in other hospitals are discreetly kept out of sight.
She says Forest Park will generally be for elective surgical procedures.
"We don't deliver babies, we will not do open heart surgery, and we don't do a lot of eye procedures," she said.
She says there will be a medical office building on site and many of the investing physicians will have offices there.
She says the facility will face some restrictions, due to quirks in the Obamacare law.
"We are in network with all of the managed care companies, but we cannot take any federal funding," Seale said, pointing out that the Affordable Care Act does not allow physician owned hospitals to participate. That means no Tricare, or Medicare or Medicaid.
She says the hospital is designed to deal with the reality that some local patients will not be able to use its facilities.
She says Forest Park hopes to become the first local hospital to be certified as environmentally sensitive, so called 'LEED Gold' certification.
"I think we will really raise the bar when it comes to health care in this area," Seale said. "It will be interesting to see, in five years, how much the bar has been raised."