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Home > Mercy News > Mercy continues leadership role in cancer care despite local plan for duplicative services
Published on April 16, 2014
Despite well-researched arguments and support from hospital leaders, physicians, Mercy Board members, staff and others, the State Health Facilities Council approved the Certificate of Need (CON) application, granting UnityPoint-St. Luke’s permission to purchase a linear accelerator. At the very least, St. Luke’s will need to spend nearly $7 million in construction/equipment costs and $1 million annually in staffing costs to start a radiation program.
Mercy opposed the acquisition of radiation therapy equipment at UnityPoint-St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids largely because there has and continues to be no established need for additional radiation therapy resources in the area. In 2009, the State Health Facilities Council reviewed and denied a similar application by St. Luke’s to establish a second radiation therapy service in Cedar Rapids by determining there was not a need.
The Hall Radiation Center, which has served this community since 1956, has sufficient capacity to meet the needs in the community for the foreseeable future, and currently operates at 60% capacity. In addition, there are currently 12 linear accelerators already operating in the Eastern Iowa service area providing radiation therapy.
Moreover, Mercy already has the highly trained support personnel and radiation oncologists on-site to support and maintain its radiation therapy program and offer the very best cancer care.
Unfortunately, we know this duplication of radiation treatment will result in a significant increase in operating costs for these services in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. Mercy has and will remain committed to acting in the best interest of the patients and communities we serve.