Q&A: Dr. Shannon Orsak
Houston born and bred, Dr. Shannon Orsak has been practicing emergency-room medicine in the state of Texas since the late ’90s. In February 2007, he opened the first free-standing emergency room in the state. “My brother and I went to the state and legislated so the politicians would pass a law so we could get a license and with that it opened up a groundwork where other people could go and start their own,” Orsak says. Today, Texas has more than 300 freestanding emergency rooms. The next goal for Orsak and his partners was to bring his business model to Las Vegas, but make it Vegas-sized; that goal recently came to fruition. Elite Medical Center is now open within walking distance of the Strip, and will offer emergency medical care with a concierge-type level of service. Las Vegas Magazine’s Kiko Miyasato sat down with Orsak to talk more about the new medical facility.
When did the idea come about to come to Las Vegas?
About eight years ago. We were talking about maybe bringing a free-standing emergency room here and we actually were looking at the facility that we’re using now and we looked into the rules and laws … that’s been going on, getting the land, been more than 18 months.
What types of patients do you think you’ll be treating?
We’re an acute-care hospital. But most likely our patients are going to be in the emergency and then be discharged. We don’t expect that many admissions. We’re going to be taking care of people on the Strip, so we’re not gonna see that many chronic problems. … We might get the chest pains, the heart attacks, appendicitis, the other issues when you drink too much or party too hard. But, we’ll take care of acute and chronic. And we accept all insurances. We’re not in-network with all insurances but we accept them all and deal with them all to try and get in-network rates. We fight for the patient.
What distinguishes your facility from others as far as service that you can find in Vegas?
It’s in the name: Elite. We’re about being the elite of healthcare. A concierge service where people are like, ‘Wow this is awesome, and I don’t pay any more than I would if I waited in the hospital for 12 hours and was treated like a number and no one really talked to me or called me for a follow-up to make sure that I was OK?’ You’re not paying that extra, but you’re getting that VIP service, that front-of-line.
What’s the experience going to be like?
We don’t have a waiting room; we call it a lobby. … We call it the no-wait room. They come straight back to their room; do their triaging, they do the paperwork in the room. … Doctors will be working in the facility, so you’ll be seen by a physician. Nurse practitioners or PAs will take over as extra care if we get too busy. We have a full-sized kitchen for when people get admitted; of course, we plan on serving gourmet-type food. It’s like Caesars (hotel) but a medical facility.
What types of service will you be providing?
We are a full-service hospital so: X-rays, CAT-scans, full-service lab, full-service pharmacy, 20 in-patient beds, 20 ER beds. It’ll look like a hotel and a suite at Caesars. All our staff has the same philosophy—going that extra mile ... Everyone’s a person to us. Someone’s wife, someone’s kid, a family member—that’s how we look at it.
150 East Harmon Ave., open 24 hours. 702.546.0911