Radiologist launching nationwide chain of outpatient centers with shadow investor’s $125M backing

An Arizona interventional radiologist is launching a nationwide chain of freestanding, outpatient surgery centers providing IR care and other services.

Joel Rainwater, MD, just opened the flagship Comprehensive Surgical Care center in Gilbert, Arizona—including three operating rooms equipped with Siemens C-Arm imaging systems—inside a 15,000-square-foot former Walmart Neighborhood Store. The company is backed by $125 million from an unnamed real estate investor and plans to open 20 locations in the next two years.

“We wanted to make sure we provided some academic level care to some of these underserved communities,” Rainwater told the Phoenix Business Journal. “It's not always reasonable for a hospital system to build hospital facilities in some of these smaller communities. Some patients aren't getting access to the care they need.”

Along with surgery, the first location also houses Comprehensive Integrated Care, a multi-specialty clinic with three ultrasound suites and 11 exam rooms. More centers are planned in California, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to an announcement. They’ll range in size from 10,000-40,000 square feet and employ 15-20 rad techs, nurses and medical assistants.

Rainwater and colleagues already have ambulatory surgery centers under construction in Yuma and Flagstaff in Arizona while eyeing four more in Buckeye, Scottsdale, Prescott and Tucson. The facilities on average cost between $5 million to $10 million to build. Comprehensive Surgical Care is also selling equity ownership in the centers to physician investors, company officials told the Phoenix Business Journal. Rainwater estimated it costs about $10,000 per unit at the Gilbert facility. Along with interventional radiologists and cardiologists, the centers also support plastic surgeons, podiatrists, oncologists and orthopedists, among others.

Around the web

The nation's largest commercial health insurer is pausing implementation until "at least the end of the national public health emergency period," the organization said Thursday.

Empathetic, affable, visually unthreatening and coolly competent in several healthcare tasks, a newly trained nurse named Grace has made a head-turning debut.

The Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee reviews data on radiopharmaceuticals and contrast media, recommending best practices to the agency's commissioner.

The data will draw on everything from census findings to driving habits gathered from vehicle sensors to—arguably most consequentially—medical records.