Bozeman Health’s plan to build a clinic and same-day surgery center on the west end of Bozeman has the city’s go-ahead. The decision comes as more people nationwide opt for surgeries outside of hospitals.

Bozeman commissioners approved the $20 million project Monday.

The planned three-story, 60,000-square-foot building will be at Huffine Lane and South Cottonwood Road. It will house an outpatient surgery center on the first floor, specialty services on the second and primary care on the third floor. There will also be space for medical offices.

The center won’t offer overnight beds or emergency care.

Bozeman Health’s Chief Advancement Officer Jason Smith said the project is a way to “bring care closer to home” as more neighborhoods and buildings arrive on the west end of town.

“Ultimately, this [area] is going to be the center of Bozeman as we look into the future,” Smith said.

Health system spokesperson Lauren Brendel said construction on the Bozeman Health Neighborhood Care and Surgery Center could take 18 months with a groundbreaking event set for July 19.

Bozeman Health owns the land the center would go on. The nation’s largest ambulatory surgery provider United Surgical Partners International owns the project, according to city documents. Brendel said the building is a joint venture with the health system, physicians and United Surgical Partners International.

The surgery center will operate under the Bozeman Health name with United Surgical Partners International as its manger.

United Surgical Partners International’s website states the network operates more than 400 sites across the U.S.

“USPI is one of the nation’s leaders in standing up and managing surgery centers like the one we’re bringing to the benefit of our patients,” Brendel said.

Ambulatory centers specialize in elective same-day or outpatient surgeries.

There’s an industry-wide shift in surgeries from inpatient to outpatient settings.

As of 2017, more than half of outpatient surgeries were performed in a center. That is up from 32% in 2005, according to the 2018 Ambulatory Surgery Center Market Report.

The report states one of the drivers for the market’s growth is lower outpatient surgery costs in the centers compared to other settings. For instance, outpatient joint replacement in a hospital setting costs an average of $40,000 compared to $18,000 in an ambulatory center, according to the report.

The building will have some points higher than what city rules typically allow in the area. Architects working on the project said that will allow for taller rooms on the first floor to fit surgical equipment.

The building will also exceed the construction project’s parking requirements with 249 spaces.

Commissioners said the building fits for where it’s planned.

Commissioner Jeff Krauss said the building makes sense for the additions to the area’s health services.

“I want to thank [Bozeman Health] for their continued investments in health care and their plans to bring health care to the other side of town,” Krauss said. “Whenever I got to the hospital, I drive right by this site.”

Bozeman Health isn’t the only system expanding its outpatient services in Bozeman.

Last year, Billings Clinic announced its $40-million “destination ambulatory center.” Officials have said the building will offer a multi-speciality clinic.

Last week, city commissioners updated the town’s growth policy to make that project possible. The health system still needs Bozeman officials to bring the 54 acres of the proposed medical site into city limits before Billings Clinic can build.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at khoughton@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

Katheryn Houghton is the city government and health reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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