An outpatient surgery center could be coming to Morgan County if the Certificate of Need (CON) board approves Cullman Regional's application.

Cullman Regional chief medical officer Dr. Bill Smith said the center would be at Hartselle Health Park.

"An outpatient surgery center in Hartselle is another way to provide south Morgan County with local access to important quality healthcare services," said Smith. "Advances in anesthesia and minimally-invasive surgical techniques have resulted in an increasing number of surgical treatments that can be done safely in an outpatient setting. This gives patients more choice and more convenience."

It is unclear how long the CON process could take, so a timeline for construction has not been established.

CON has already approved another project by Cullman Regional at Hartselle Health Park. Construction on the freestanding emergency department is expected to begin soon.

"The Hartselle community showed tremendous support for the Hartselle Health Park freestanding ED throughout the approval process with the CON Review Board," said James Clements, Cullman Regional CEO. "We're so grateful for that, and we will need it again to bring an outpatient surgery center to Hartselle." 

The state of Alabama has required CON approval since 1979. Unlike other businesses, healthcare facilities must go through a process that often prolongs the time between the idea for a new facility and actually breaking ground. The board is set up to review the market in which these facilities are being built and can deny a certificate.

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