Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:26 PM on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Proposal for surgery center in Kenai denied

A proposal to build an ambulatory surgical center in Kenai has been denied by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Kahtnu Ventures, LLC recently filed an application for a certificate of need with the department for an 8,365 square foot "ambulatory surgical center."

However, that application was denied for "untimely submission of information," said Karen Lawfer, health and social services planner for the state.

After the public notice phase — which allowed others interested in providing the same service to submit an application for a certificate of need — was completed, the state determined the application was missing information.

The deadline to submit that information was Nov. 9. Lawfer said the state needed to see certified construction cost estimates and bid quotes for equipment from suppliers. Those estimates Kahtnu submitted were not certified, she said.

"We need to have some sort of bid quote or something that we could verify that those would in fact be the estimated costs," she said. Lawfer noted there was no required waiting period before Kahtnu could re-apply, potentially for the same project.

According to the previous application, the company planned to build the estimated $8 million facility by spring of 2013 and serve the Kenai and Northern Kenai Peninsula area. Further details about the proposed project haven't been released to the public.

The proposal caused uncertainty in the local medical community and forced Central Peninsula Hospital officials to examine a counter-proposal. CPH staff performs about 3,000 outpatient surgeries each year and the number of those surgeries that could be taken away as a result of the surgery center would have been influenced on which, and how many surgeons signed on as partners in the venture.