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Rural IA hospital courts urban patients

Des Moines Register, July 21, 2014

A small-town northern Iowa hospital hopes Des Moines-area residents seeking weight-loss surgery will drive 90 miles to undergo the procedure in its new operating rooms.The Iowa Specialty Hospital in Belmond is partnering with a Des Moines surgeon to provide the operations, which reduce the size of patients’ stomachs so they can’t eat as much. The new business, called “Iowa Weight Loss Specialists,” is led by Dr. Todd Eibes, who worked at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines until earlier this year. The new arrangement represents a rare effort by a rural hospital to compete directly for business with big-city counterparts. Most Des Moines-area residents wanting bariatric surgery go to Iowa Methodist or to Mercy Medical Center.