Inpatient Projects: Battle to build S.C. hospital continues


By Dan Emerson

Carolinas HealthCare System has proposed a 64-bed hospital, shown in the rendering above, in growing Fort Mill, S.C., a suburb of Charlotte, N.C. It is one of three systems competing for new beds in Wake County.
Rendering courtesy of Carolinas HealthCare

A battle between three health systems to build a new hospital in Fort Mill, S.C., a growing suburb south of Charlotte, N.C., has been part of the healthcare landscape for at least seven years or so.

At one point, in 2006, the matter seemed decided, as the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DEHC) had awarded a Certificate of Need (CON) to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C., to build a 100-bed facility.

However, two other Charlotte-based systems appealed the CON, and eventually an administrative law judge ruled in favor of the two competitors, Carolinas HealthCare System and Presbyterian Healthcare. The judge, in effect, said that the DEHC failed to follow correct protocol for the CON process in choosing Piedmont, which is part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC).

In recent weeks, as part of the judge’s ruling, the health systems were asked to submit updated applications with the most recent demographic information, salary and construction expenses. A state ruling could still be months down the road, perhaps in the fall.

In the meantime, however, Carolinas is moving forward with its proposal for a $79 million, 64-bed hospital in Fort Mill – and it now owns the land where it has proposed the facility.

In early May, the health system closed on the acquisition of about 21 acres just off U.S. Interstate 77 at exit 83. The purchase price was $3.1 million and the seller was SDG Properties, a development arm of the York County Culture & Heritage Foundation. The foundation, which plans to build a county museum near the Carolinas site, still owns about 380 acres in the immediate area.

According to Carolinas officials, the hospital would occupy about 15 acres of the site in Fort Mill, with the remaining land allowing for future development.

As for the other hospital proposals for Fort Mill, Presbyterian, which is part of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health Inc., is pitching a $76.2 million, 64-bed hospital at the northeast quadrant of the I-77 at the Sutton Road exit; Piedmont has proposed a 100-bed, $124 million hospital at the intersection of S.C. 160 and U.S. 21.

Each of the systems has been presenting its case to the public, hoping the state will be swayed by public opinion. For example, Carolinas is pitching data showing that it has a 53 percent market share for hospitalizations in 2009 for northern York County. That’s an increase from 2005, when Carolinas had a 40 market share. The system’s closest hospital to For Mill is in Pineville, N.C.

According to Carolinas, Novant’s market share climbed to 18.4 percent in 2009, up from 12.6 percent in 2005. It also says that Piedmont’s share fell to 28.7 percent from 47.3 percent in the same period.

Meanwhile, Presbyterian says its hospital would be closer to Fort Mill’s downtown and would create 300 jobs in its first year of operation.

In an article in 2010 in the Charlotte Business Journal, a medical-sector consultant in Greenville, S.C., said the intense competition for the CON makes plenty of sense.

Ira Bedenbaugh, who is with Elliott Davis, told the publication that the winning health system winner will not only protect its market share in York County but will have a chance to extend its coverage area beyond physician practices and outpatient services.

“There’s nothing like a hospital,” Mr. Bedenbaugh said. “When you get a hospital it becomes a whole different ball game.”

To lose would mean lower patient volume and less demand for lucrative specialized care available in a hospital, he adds.

In statements from Carolinas, a spokesmen said construction of a new hospital is not expected anytime soon.

“The state may not make a decision until fall,” said CHCS spokesman Kevin McCarthy in a statement.

“And, whoever is awarded the bid, it could be appealed by the other two organizations. It’s quite an involved process, so it could be years before a final decision is made.”

Carolinas HealthCare is the largest system in the Carolinas and the third-largest public health system in the country. It owns, leases or manages 32 hospitals and has more than 44,000 full- and part-time employees, including 1,750 physicians.

In total, the system has a 475 locations, including physician practices, nursing homes, surgical and rehabilitation centers and home-health agencies.

Novant also part of CON battle in Wake County, N.C.

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – In more news from Novant Health, the system is also part of another three-system competition to be awarded a CON to build new hospital beds in Wake County.

Novant and Raleigh-based Rex Healthcare are proposing to build new hospitals in the growing suburb of Holly Springs, in an area south of Raleigh.

The competition is heating up because the state has determined that there is a need for 101 new beds in Wake County, where Raleigh is the largest city.

Novant has submitted an application to the North Carolina Department of Health Service Regulation to build a 50-bed, $77.7 million hospital in Holly Springs. Rex Healthcare has proposed a 50-bed hospital at the site of an outpatient facility it recently opened in Holly Springs. Officials have yet to reveal the anticipated cost of its proposed hospital on the site.

The third competitor, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, also of Raleigh, has proposed adding most of the 101 beds to its main campus in Raleigh, where it says it needs additional capacity to keep up with demand despite adding a four-story, $99 million tower on the site last year.

This is the second time Novant has applied for CON to build a hospital in Holly Springs, as it proposed a 46-bed hospital there in 2008. However, the state allocated the beds to WakeMed, which recently opened a new women’s hospital at its North Healthplex in Raleigh.

Novant filed an appeal but dropped its effort in August 2009.

Novant’s proposed Holly Springs Hospital would offer 24-hour emergency services, surgical services, inpatient hospital care, intensive care, maternity services, diagnostic imaging and a wide range of additional services. If approved, the hospital is slated to open in 2014 and would be located near the southern intersection of Highway 55 and Ralph Stevens Road.

“We believe the residents of southern Wake County deserve a hospital of their own,” said Jody Morris, vice president and chief operating officer of Novant’s Triangle Market, in a statement. “That is why we first proposed a hospital in Holly Springs in 2008 and why we have not given up on bringing this level of care to the residents of that community.”

Novant Health, a not-for-profit system, has 13 hospitals, 366 physician clinics and 100 outpatient centers in North Carolina and three other surrounding states.

Adventist plans to expand Shady Grove campus in Maryland

ROCKVILLE, Md. – Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville has plans to nearly double the size of its campus as part of Montgomery County’s Science City development. Adventist announced plans to add almost 507,000 square feet of space to the campus, which, when completed, would have a total of about 1.1 million square feet.

Johns Hopkins University and Pasadena-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE) are also vying to win approval to add space in Phase I of the Science City development, located west of U.S. I-270 at Montgomery Avenue.
Adventist wants to demolish its Behavioral Health and Broschart buildings and build several new ones, including a cancer center and  psychiatric hospital. The expansion would also add 260,000 square feet to the main hospital building and expand the rehab hospital.

The plan is contingent on obtaining the necessary financing and approval from the Maryland Healthcare Commission, officials said.

Johns Hopkins wants to include an additional 400,000 square feet of commercial development in what will become its 1.7 million-square foot Montgomery County campus.

Alexandria is seeking approval for 236,000 square feet of new commercial space, in addition to building several other research labs on its property on Medical Center Drive.

U of Colorado breaks ground for  $400M expansion

AURORA, Colo. – The University of Colorado Hospital has broken ground on a $400 million expansion that will add a second patient tower to its facility in Aurora, in the western suburbs of Denver. The 12-story, 714,000 square foot patient tower would add 276 beds to the hospital.

The project also includes a 39,800 square foot expansion of the hospital’s cancer center, which would include a radiation therapy vault, expand chemotherapy infusion capacity and increase the number of clinical rooms by 50 percent. The hospital also is adding 2,362 parking spaces for patients, visitors and employees.

The new Cancer Pavilion and added parking components of the project are scheduled for completion by the end of this year. The other parts of the expansion will be completed in 2013, according to hospital officials.

Hospital officials said the expansion also would be completed on a fast-track schedule by using Building Information Modeling (BIM), an advanced construction technique that creates a 3D image of the components, which are then built outside of the building.

Roane Med Center in N.E. Tennessee plans new hospital

HARRIMAN, Tenn. – Roane Medical Center and Covenant Health have received approval from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (THSDA) to build a new medical center in Harriman, located in Roane County in northeastern Tennessee, about 35 miles west of Knoxville

The future hospital would replace the system’s existing, 72-year-old facility in downtown Harriman.

Originally proposed as a $50 million facility several years ago, the new hospital would be a $72 million project. The new campus will be built on a 42-acre site on Roane State Highway near Pinnacle Point, a shopping center located just off the Harriman/Midtown exit of U.S. I-40.

In addition to the new hospital, the replacement campus would include an adjacent medical office building (MOB), larger parking areas and new patient and family amenities, said Anthony Spezia, CEO of parent company Covenant Health, in a news release.

The new hospital would have all private rooms and the campus will include land a potential future expansion.

The new facility will be designed by the Lewis Group of Knoxville. Rentenback Constructors is the general contractor.

Roane Medical Center, founded in 1939, became affiliated with Knoxville-based Covenant in May, 2008.

Construction starts on Scripps cardio institute in La Jolla

LA JOLLA, Calif. – Construction began in recent weeks on the first of three towers that would eventually comprise a rebuilt Scripps Memorial Hospital campus in La Jolla.

Work has started on the future planned to comprise the future 383,000 square foot, 10-story Scripps Cardiovascular Institute. The future $456 million tower, as well as a new, adjacent energy plant, is scheduled for completion in early 2015.

St. Louis-based HOK Architects is the project architect; McCarthy Building Cos. is the general contractor overseeing construction.

The Cardiovascular Institute is the first of three new towers that would eventually replace the hospital as part of a 25-year master construction plan. Scripps officials are touting the future campus as the most comprehensive medical campus in the region, encompassing research and graduate medical education facilities, an outpatient treatment center and medical offices.

It would also feature high-tech structural features to comply with California’s earthquake safety mandates.

Plans call for the future cardiovascular tower, which would feature a brick and glass, steel-framed exterior, to have 60 beds on two levels of the intensive care unit (ICU), 108 beds on three medical-surgery levels, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, four catheterization/electro-physiology (CATH/EP) labs, a sterile processing department and an imaging department.

A tunnel is planned that would connect the basement and ground levels of the new tower to the existing hospital.

New York hospital to triple size of ED in the next decade 

SUFFERN, N.Y. – Good Samaritan Hospital has broken ground for an expansion to triple the size of its crowded emergency department over the next decade.

Philip Patterson, CEO of Bon Secours Charity Health System, the hospital’s parent company, said in a news release that the existing department, designed to serve about 29,000 patients a year, handled more than 35,000 patient visits last year.

The first phase of the expansion would add 13 new bays, bringing the total to 32. Subsequent expansion projects over the coming decade could bring the total number of patient bays to 50.

The hospital also plans to install new imaging and diagnostic technology to enable testing in the ED, making the process easier for patients.

The first phase of improvements are expected to cost about $5.8 million, an amount which has been committed to Good Samaritan by the hospital’s parent company, Marriottsville, Md.-based Bon Secours Health System.

The emergency department expansion is part of a master plan to create a major center for outpatient surgery and other services at the Suffern Medical Pavilion on the Good Samaritan Hospital campus. Bon Secours has committed an initial $24 million for medical office building improvements.

Mr. Patterson said the hospital is also in the midst of recruiting new doctors and is working to increase services to women, including the creation of its new Center for Breast Health.

The Bon Secours Charity Health System includes Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern and two community hospitals: Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y., and St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, N.Y.  More Inpatient Project News

  • Overland Park (Kansas) Regional Medical Center, located outside of Kansas City, has finalized plans to begin a $121 million expansion later this year, pending approval by the city. The project would include a five-story, 72-private-bed tower and a larger, renovated emergency department. Completion is expected in late 2013 or early 2014, said hospital CEO Gay Nord. The project has been scaled back from an original, $129 million expansion plan to add 105 beds.
  • After years of planning, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola, Ind., has begun construction on a $42 million, 126,400 square foot expansion and renovation in the city’s downtown. The 13-acre campus would include an MOB connected to the hospital. In addition, 16,000 square feet of the existing hospital would be renovated, officials said. Plans call for razing the remainder of the structure. Completion is scheduled for September 2012. The architect on the project is Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Morrison Kattman Menze; the general contractor is Hagerman Group, which is also based in Fort Wayne.
  • In Fulton, N.Y., the former A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital is being converted into the Fulton Medical Center, an urgent care facility. In 2008, the state’s Berger Commission recommended that the hospital be “right-sized” by vacating 37 of its 67 beds. A $22 million renovation project is under way, financed by the facility’s owner, Oswego, N.Y.-based Oswego Health. The project is scheduled for completion later this year, said Oswego spokesperson Marion Ciciarelli.
  • Chelsea (Mich.) Community Hospital is beginning a $60 million project to add a two-story wing, convert its semi-private rooms to private, and renovate the main entrance of the 113-bed hospital. The project also includes the building of a new emergency department, diagnostic imaging center and renovation of the cardiopulmonary and physical therapy areas. The hospital was acquired last year by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based St. Joseph Mercy Health System.
  • The reopening of Lancaster (Texas) Medical Center in the Dallas suburbs has been pushed back about six months from the original April target date. Plano-based Independent Hospital Partners (IHP) LP acquired the 89-bed hospital in November from New York-based CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), which had foreclosed on the facility. The hospital closed in February 2008 after 25 years in operation; it was operated by a succession of owners. The delay is necessary, according to IHP officials, because obtaining the necessary construction permits from the Texas Department of Health has taken longer than planned. IHP said it plans to spend anywhere from $1 million to $10 million to renovate and reopen the facility as a 50-bed acute-care hospital. The hospital closed less than four years after it was acquired by Louisville, Ky.-based Merit Health Systems LLC. The company said it needed to close the hospital at that time because of increased competition from other nearby providers as well as the fallout from the economic downturn. The hospital initially opened as a part of Nashville-based HCA Inc. in 1983. McAllen, Texas-based Warren Group Architects Inc. is the architect on the renovation project and the general contractor is Lewisville, Texas-based HealthSites LLC. Two principals involved in the ownership of the hospital are also partners in the ownership of the shuttered Texas General Hospital in Grand Prairie. They acquired the facility last July and plan to reopen it later this year.A battle between three health systems to build a new hospital in Fort Mill, S.C., a growing suburb south of Charlotte, N.C., has been part of the healthcare landscape for at least seven years or so.

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