HCA to close Fla. hospital, citing excess capacity
For-profit hospital giant HCA announced plans to close one of its Florida hospitals because of excess inpatient capacity in the region—a sign that healthcare reform continues to push patient volumes away from inpatient hospital settings and toward lower-cost outpatient facilities.
HCA will shut down Edward White Hospital in St. Petersburg by Nov. 24. Clinical services at the hospital—which has 162 licensed beds and 110 staffed beds—will shift to three other HCA-owned hospitals in the area: Northside Hospital, Palms of Pasadena Hospital and St. Petersburg General Hospital, all of which are within about five miles of Edward White.
HCA West Florida President Peter Marmerstein estimated there are about 1,000 unoccupied licensed hospital beds in the southern part of Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg. Less than a third of Edward White’s beds are occupied on average.
“In this era where healthcare is migrating to the outpatient setting, we are seeing a significant rise in unoccupied, licensed hospital beds throughout the region,” Marmerstein said in a written statement, adding that the hospital’s nearly 40-yearold structure also was becoming costly to maintain.