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When Northeast Georgia Health System hopes to build Braselton surgery center

The Northeast Georgia Health System hopes to build a surgery center at its Braselton hospital, with the goal of opening the new medical building in 2021 if the state approves the proposal.

The ambulatory surgery center, which would provide same-day outpatient care, would be on the first floor of a new medical building behind Medical Plaza 1 on the Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Braselton campus off of Friendship Road.

Louis Smith, NGHS’ president of system acute and post-acute operations, said the multi-specialty center would focus on general surgery, spine care and orthopedics. Other medical offices would be located in the Medical Plaza 2 building as well.

Smith said plans for the Braselton medical campus have always included a surgery center, although the need has arisen sooner than anticipated. NGMC Braselton opened in April 2015.

“When we developed the original Braselton campus, there were questions about what exactly the growth rate would be and what would happen in that community. That area was certainly very different when we embarked on our planning and investments in that community,” Smith said. “Not a whole lot existed at that time. As we have gone through our planning, the hospital has grown much more rapidly than the original planning expectations were.”

The health system has filed a certificate of need with the Georgia Department of Community Health, which evaluates proposals for new medical facilities to avoid duplication of services and help ensure that needs are met in areas around the state. NGHS is expecting to hear a response to the application in March and could officially begin the two-year process then, with a tentative opening date of spring 2021.

Smith said the health system has made a 6 percent indigent care commitment for the facility but will likely exceed that number.

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