Inpatient Projects: UNC Health Care seeks $227M facility


By John Mugford

As UNC Health Care seeks to fulfill its mission of providing medical services, it faces a major obstacle at its main hospital on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill: overcrowding.

Add to that the fact that the flagship hospital of the UNC system is located in the heart of the college campus, leaving it little room for a major expansion.

To combat the overcrowding, the health system recently filed for state permission to build a 68-bed, $227 million hospital in Hillsborough, about 15 miles north of Chapel Hill.

North Carolina’s Division of Health Service Regulation’s Certificate of Need (CON) Section has up to 150 days to review UNC Health Care’s application.

Should the state grant permission for the new facility, the UNC system would transfer all of the new hospital’s 68 beds from its flagship UNC Hospitals campus in Chapel Hill. The main hospital there has 725 beds and is operating at an average capacity of 90 percent.

In a letter explaining the CON application to employees, UNC Healthcare CEO Bill Roper wrote: “Creating a second campus in Hillsborough would help us ensure better accessibility for patients who require care outside of the Chapel Hill community. A second campus in Hillsborough would also allow us to ease some of the space constraints at UNC Hospitals, which would contribute to making UNC Hospitals an even better place to care for patients.”

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