Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital said Tuesday it will convert its outpatient department into a physician joint venture, in partnership with Regent Surgical Health.
The new model allows local surgeons to become partners in the hospital's ambulatory surgical pavilion, which opened in 2010.
In a statement announcing the move, Paul Storiale, the hospital's senior vice president and CFO, said the arrangement is an opportunity to more fully integrate physicians into the hospital.
"Patients benefit when doctors and hospitals share the common goal of continually improving the delivery of the ambulatory surgical pavilion's clinical and operational quality," he said.
Under the deal, which takes effect in April, Regent will manage the 13,000-square-foot center. Services offered there include plastic, podiatric and vascular surgeries, as well as pain management services and other procedures.
"Our model lets hospitals and physicians do what they do best, which is provide outstanding patient care," said Tom Mallon, founder and CEO of Illinois-based Regent Surgical.
Hospital spokesman Peter Haigney said patients shouldn't notice much of a change, except perhaps the addition of new doctors to the center's rolls. He said the hospital is still in the process of recruiting doctors to participate in the joint venture.
Haigney said the center will become one of a handful of joint ventures in which the hospital is involved, including University Radiology at Robert Wood Johnson, which shares a Plum Street building with the outpatient department; Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, a partnership with the Visiting Nurses Association of Central New Jersey; and the hospital's fitness and wellness centers, which are partnerships with Fitness & Wellness Professional Services LLC. The hospital currently operates four centers, with a fifth scheduled to open later this year in the New Brunswick Wellness Plaza.