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Bayfront's heart center to include medical spa, retail
Tampa Bay Business Journal - May 11, 2007by Margie ManningSenior staff writer

Kathleen Cabble
The Bayfront Heart Center, left, will be connected by skywalks to Bayfront and All Children’s hospitals.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bayfront Medical Center will expand its outpatient cardiac care services late this summer when it opens the Bayfront Heart Center, a $40 million facility in a medical office building under construction just north of the hospital.

The project is the latest in a series of hospital upgrades throughout the Tampa Bay area, as the health care industry focuses on aging baby boomers more susceptible to heart disease.

Bayfront's 35,000-square-foot heart center will occupy the entire second floor of the medical office building. A health institute and medical spa, and retailers such as a bank and a coffee shop, are planned for the building's first floor. Physician offices will be on the third and fourth floors.

A 270-foot-long skywalk over Sixth Avenue South connects the new building with Bayfront Medical Center, and another skywalk over Sixth Street South will connect the medical office building to the new All Children's Hospital. A 600-space parking garage is going in north of the medical office.

Optimal Outcomes LLC, a St. Petersburg-based developer that's worked on projects at Northside Hospital & Heart Institute and St. Anthony's Health Care, will own the medical building, but Bayfront will purchase its space, as will several of the physician groups.

"One of our core competencies is not real estate," Eric Feder, Bayfront COO, said. "We looked for a developer that specialized in medical real estate that could do the heavy lifting on development."

Cardiac Surgical Associates is buying a 4,100-square-foot space for offices for its seven physicians, helping the practice manage its overhead, said Todd Carl, executive director.

About 70 to 75 percent of the space is leased or under contract, Patrick Marston, principal at Optimal Outcomes, said.

Getting doctors on board
The Bayfront Heart Center, expected to open around Sept. 1, will have six specialty cardiovascular procedure rooms plus shell space for an additional room, said Scott Sinigalliano, cardiovascular administrator. Bayfront annually performs 3,200 diagnostic and interventional heart catheterizations and 2,800 electrophysiology procedures, and those numbers are projected to grow, according to Nancy Waite, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

There's an 18-bed unit for patients to prepare for and recover from their procedures. Should an emergency situation arise during an outpatient procedure, patients can be directly taken from the medical office building across the skywalk into Bayfront's two new cardiac surgical suites and the hospital's new CICU, a dedicated six-bed unit for post-open heart patients.

Bayfront is spending $40 million on the project, financing it through a hospital's ongoing capital campaign, debt and funds from operations, Feder said.

Bayfront worked closely with its physicians to design and equip the heart center and come up with the appropriate procedures, Feder said. Getting doctors on board is key because heart patients generally select a specialist rather than a particular hospital.

Competitive position
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and in Florida, and baby boomers are aging, prompting many hospitals to build new heart centers.

The Morgan Heart Hospital, a $52 million facility at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, opened in November. University Community Hospital took the wraps off its $50 million Pepin Heart Hospital & Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute in February 2006, about a month after St. Anthony's opened a 50,000-square-foot outpatient Heart Center.

"There's a lot of competition among the hospitals," CSA's Carl said. "Once one institution started investing capital, in order to maintain their competitive position, other institutions started doing the same."

Cardiac care is a more profitable line of business for hospitals than many services, according to Corazon Consulting, a Pittsburgh firm that helps develop cardiovascular programs.

"Generally (heart procedures) have a positive margin," Feder said. "That comes into play but is not the primary focus."

Instead, he said, it was important to provide the appropriate facilities at Bayfront, a Level II trauma center and one of just a handful of accredited chest pain centers in the Bay area.

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