Partners Given OK on MRI Plan

Baptist, orthopedics firm to share expense

A state regulatory board issued a ruling Wednesday that will allow Baptist Memorial Health Care and orthopedics group OrthoMemphis P.C. to move ahead with combined plans to operate a magnetic resonance imaging device.

The hospital will own an MRI device that will be installed at the East Memphis offices of OrthoMemphis and used to help doctors diagnose problems in muscle and other soft tissue.

Baptist’s Germantown rehabilitation unit is paying $2.6 million for the device and related construction.  OrthoMemphis, a physicians’ group, plans to pay $3.4 million over five years, most of it to rent time on the machine from Baptist, OrthoMemphis chief executive officer Ken E. Beasley said.

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency approved the plan at its meeting Wednesday, said Beasley and William Tuttle, vice president of planning for Baptist.

“We look forward to getting started,” Tuttle said.  Construction should be complete within a few months, Beasley and Tuttle said.

Beasley said the joint arrangement would allow the groups to share the costs of an expensive piece of equipment.  He said it would give patients faster access to MRI services and said Baptist has strong experiences in managing MRI services.  Tuttle said the agreement also worked for Baptist.  “From our perspective, this is an enhancement both from a technological standpoint and an accessibility standpoint ” he said.

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