HCA to close Fla. hos­pi­tal, cit­ing ex­cess ca­pac­ity

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Bob Her­man

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.

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