Nutex Chandler Hospital
Nutex Health operates two micro-hospitals in Arizona, including Phoenix ER in Chandler. Google StreetView

The company expected to operate Maricopa’s second hospital has a successful track record of running small hospitals in Arizona, Texas and six other states.

Founded in 2011, Houston-based Nutex Health currently operates micro-hospitals in Chandler and Tucson. The company has 15 of its 24 hospitals in its home state of Texas, but also has facilities in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma, with four more in various stages of development.

The company operates micro-hospitals, free-standing emergency rooms and community hospitals.

Nutex is looking to operate Maricopa’s second hospital on four acres of land at the southeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road. The city sold the land to S3 BioTech LLC in June for $1.38 million.

According to Dr. Ed Johnson, an S3 BioTech board member, Maricopa is exactly the type of market Nutex seeks.

“Maricopa gives us the opportunity to grow with the community,” he said. “And the types of hospital-related services Nutex offers and wants to scale seem to fit perfectly with what the city is looking for.”

The Maricopa location will allow the company to apply the experience garnered in Texas and other locations to help sustain its national growth model, according to Johnson.

“The city of Maricopa is positively aggressive, they’re easy to work with and things couldn’t have gone smoother so far,” he said. “That’s unusual, and it’s a tribute to the culture, the politics, the council and the staffing that’s all wrapped into one.”

Maricopa City Manager Rick Horst said that although he doesn’t yet know the specific services that will be offered by the hospital, Nutex’s desire to open in Maricopa is a sign of the city’s attractiveness to businesses.

“What I do know is that medical facilities are just like any other development in any community. They bring what the community can support,” Horst said. “As our community continues to grow, so will our opportunities. Our job is to reach out to the investor/development community and share our vision of Maricopa, to market opportunity and to get people to look our way. As we have continued to do this, we are now beginning to attract wide interest from office/medical/retail/entertainment and of course residential investors. There is significant competition for investor dollars, and we have to stand out above the rest, and we are doing so.”

The city’s first hospital is scheduled to open later this year.

Construction continues on the 20,000-square-foot initial phase of Exceptional Healthcare’s single-story hospital at the northwest corner of John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Avenue. The new facility will bring a much-needed 24-hour emergency department, removing the need for patients to travel up to 20 miles to receive emergency care in Chandler or Casa Grande.

It will have 10 private rooms, 10 emergency rooms and space for radiology upon opening. The state-of-the-art facility will feature a digital imaging suite including CT scan, X-Ray, mobile MRI, and ultrasound capabilities, along with an in-house lab, and outpatient and inpatient hospital beds for acute admissions and overnight observation of patients.

Johnson contrasted the services that Nutex and Exceptional Healthcare will offer, but said there is room for both hospitals – and then some.

“We’ll feature a broader set of services,” Johnson said. “It’s multiple night stays. It’s just a different business model. The cool thing is the community is growing so fast, there’s room for everybody. We’re not nervous about the competition. We’ve always found that competition is healthy.”

“The public makes its choices,” he continued. “We’re quite comfortable about where we’ll be in the market.”

Nutex does not offer a “full hospital model,” Johnson said, while noting it does offer overnight services, a 24/7 emergency room and the ability to house patients, either with complications or otherwise serious problems.

The city’s second community hospital is planned for the southeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road, near Copper Sky. Photo by Brian Petersheim Jr.

“It’s not a situation where you stay a few hours, and we send you home by midnight,” Johnson said. “There is an outpatient surgical center, which is not designed for patients to stay overnight, but if there’s complications you’ve got a micro-hospital next door.”

Nutex has the project on a fast track.

“It will be sooner rather than later,” Johnson said about when work might begin. “Again, because the city is being so helpful, we’re pushing each other in a positive way. So, I think within the next 30 days we’ll have much better sense of our timeline for breaking ground. But it’s going to be this calendar year.”

Horst said his office has been told to expect plan submittals within 90 days but added that he did not yet know the scope of what he’ll be receiving.

“Until plans are submitted, we don’t know the size, level of service, or services to be offered,” he said.