Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an ambulatory surgery center?
    Ambulatory surgery centers perform surgical procedures on an outpatient basis or stated another way, surgeries that do not require overnight hospitalization. These surgeries are typically very specialized, minimally-invasive procedures, that meet specific criteria where the patient comes in, has their procedure and then safely goes home all in the same day.
  2. Why is the ambulatory surgery center important and how will it better serve patients?
    As the delivery of healthcare continues to rapidly change, more and more surgeries are being performed in outpatient settings. For instance, in 2014, over 66% of surgeries in the U.S. were performed in an outpatient setting compared to 51% in 1990. As a local healthcare provider, it is important that we recognize these changes and offer our patients and community the best and most advanced medical services in the best setting for our patients.
  3. What procedures will be offered at the Ambulatory Surgery Center?
    The ambulatory surgery center will offer a range of day surgeries and procedures such as orthopedic, ear, nose and throat, and general surgery, and will also have specifically trained staff and physicians as well as equipment intended for procedures on children such as otolaryngology cases (ear, nose, throat) like tonsils and ear tubes.
  4. Will this bring surgeons and physicians from renowned Tufts Medical Center to our community?
    We are working collaboratively with our clinical partners at Tufts Medical Center to partner on a number of services for the benefit and convenience of our patients. The ambulatory surgery center will mean marquee physicians – including from Tufts Medical Center – will be coming to Medford to provide care and services.
  5. What are the benefits of an Ambulatory Surgery Center?
    •  The cost charged for surgeries and procedures in an ambulatory surgery center, like the one proposed at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital campus, can be up to 50% lower than the cost of a traditional outpatient hospital surgery department. There may be direct healthcare cost savings in the form of reduced copays and lower health insurance premiums.

    •  There is greater ease and support for patients in scheduling and keeping surgery times. No traveling into Boston for simple day procedure.

    •  Patients report greater satisfaction with having procedures done at an ambulatory surgery center.

  6. Do Ambulatory Surgery Centers boast high quality and patient satisfaction?
    Research shows that ambulatory surgery centers have an excellent record of safety and quality and provide patient outcomes that equal or exceed the results provided by every other site of outpatient surgical care – including hospitals. Patients report a 92% satisfaction rate for surgeries performed at ambulatory surgery centers.
  7. Where will the new Ambulatory Surgery Center be located?
    There was extensive community engagement is helping to inform the location for the ambulatory surgery center. Consistently we heard comments around the aesthetics of the neighborhood, questions on parking and preservation of green space. The proposed location supports those community interests. The proposed location is within the footprint of the existing hospital building. This also allows for the best reconfiguration of parking and preservation of green space. We are now working with the city on required permitting.
  8. Will there be an impact on parking and traffic?
    Extensive studies were conducted to assure there would be appropriate parking and an understanding of the impact on traffic. The full results of the studies will be included in the materials submitted for permitting and zoning. The preliminary results show there is sufficient parking and negligible impact on traffic.
  9. Will the Ambulatory Surgery Center be for-profit?
    The proposed ambulatory surgery center is a joint venture with highly regarded Shields Health Care and the Tufts Medical Center Physician Organization. It will bring state-of-the-art services to the region, offering patients quality and convenience in a lower-cost setting for a range of needs, including procedures in orthopedics; GI and ear, nose and throat, among others. For-profit does not mean higher costs.

    The cost charged for surgeries and procedures in an ambulatory surgery center, like the one proposed at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital campus, can be up to 50% lower than the cost of a traditional outpatient hospital surgery department. There may be direct healthcare cost savings in the form of reduced copays and lower health insurance premiums.

    There is greater ease and support for patients in scheduling and keeping surgery times. The ambulatory surgery center will bring Tufts Medical Center surgeons and others to Medford to provide care. No traveling into Boston for simple day procedure.

    The hospital remains a not-for-profit entity.

  10. What are the benefits to the hospital and its services with the Ambulatory Surgery Center?We are extremely excited about the opportunities for bringing vibrancy and robust outpatient services to the hospital. Throughout healthcare, there is a growing focus on providing more convenient, lower-cost outpatient care for the benefit of patients. Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s forward-thinking transformation is focused on bringing more high-quality, lower-cost outpatient services to the region, including a new free-standing ambulatory surgery center.

    At the same time, we are developing plans to synergistically provide more physician services and outpatient programs within the hospital for all ages, such as cardiology, family medicine, women’s health, physical therapy, and expanded urgent care…creating a comprehensive one-stop location for complete outpatient care. This includes bringing providers from renowned Tufts Medical Center to provide care for patients in the community.