Short-term lease keeps UCHealth surgery center open at LUH

LONGMONT — Aurora-based UCHealth has negotiated a short-term lease that will keep its Longs Peak Surgery Center open in Longmont until it opens a new surgery center in mid-2017 in east Longmont.

UCHealth had been telling patients they would have to go elsewhere after the first of the year for outpatient surgeries because a lease with its landlord and competitor, Longmont United Hospital, was set to expire Dec. 31.

Peter Powers, LUH’s vice president of operations, said Monday that a short-term lease, negotiated over the past several weeks, was signed Friday.

UCHealth has been leasing the first floor of a five-story medical-office building at 2030 Mountain View Ave. that LUH owns at the northwest corner of the its campus. The lease extension is in place through mid-2017, when UCHealth plans to open an outpatient surgery center as part of its $170 million Longs Peak Hospital that is under construction at the northwest corner of Colorado Highway 119 and County Line Road in east Longmont.

UCHealth’s current surgery center in Longmont is across the street from the UCHealth Clinic, which UCHealth acquired in 2014 from Longmont United Hospital. LUH owns and operates the Day Surgery Center, an outpatient surgery center located directly behind LUH.

UCHealth in October was notifying patients planning surgeries after the first of the year that they would need to book them elsewhere until its new surgery center opens. At the time, Dan Weaver, UCHealth spokesman, said most patients were choosing to have their outpatient surgeries performed at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Boulder Community Health or UCHealth’s new hospital in Broomfield.

Powers said LUH is “evaluating” whether it will continue to operate a surgery center on the first floor of its building when UCHealth discontinues operations there. He said new regulations will require “costly” upgrades to a surgery center after UCHealth leaves, pointing out that UCHealth was “grandfathered” in from having to make upgrades because it was leasing the space before the new regulations were enacted.

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