Center firm eyes outpatient surgery

September 11, 1991

National Diagnostic Services is expanding into the developmentof outpatient surgery centers. Many hospital clients request acombination of surgery and imaging services in an outpatient setting,said James F. Mitchell, NDS president. While NDS has

National Diagnostic Services is expanding into the developmentof outpatient surgery centers. Many hospital clients request acombination of surgery and imaging services in an outpatient setting,said James F. Mitchell, NDS president.

While NDS has consulted for and syndicated several surgerycenters in its 10-year history, it is now deliberately targetingthe field, he said.

"Over the past six to eight months, we have become morededicated to surgery centers. They seem to be part of a growingcampus approach to joint ventures," Mitchell told SCAN "Imaging,surgery and other services can be put together into a type ofmedical boutique."

NDS is developing five surgery centers. One hospital clientis interested in building a medical facility with combined surgeryand imaging services that could polish its image in the community,he said.

About 20 of the 60 medical joint ventures NDS has developedinvolve imaging. The firm also works with 14 cardiac catheterizationventures, Mitchell said.

NDS, located in Thousand Oaks, CA, operates predominantly inCalifornia and neighboring western states. The firm developedthe first MRI installation in the western U.S. at Huntington MemorialHospital in Pasadena.

It also started the first mobile MRI route in the country,using a Diasonics MRI scanner. That central California route isstill operating, and now uses two magnets, he said.

Virtually all of the company's projects involve joint ventureswith physician involvement. The firm usually enters into its projectsat the behest of hospital clients. NDS is general partner in about10 ventures, Mitchell said.

Despite its position in physician partnerships, NDS has notfelt a negative impact on its business from the Department ofHealth and Human Services' safe harbor rules on physician investmentissued in July, he said.

"During the month of August we received more retainersthan any other time in the last two years," he said.

NDS has purchased about 16 MRI systems over the last year.Much of that business involves adding new scanners to existingsites, Mitchell said.