UCHealth builds hos­pi­tals as Den­ver’s pop­u­la­tion booms

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Dave Barkholz

As ru­ral hos­pi­tals across the coun­try fight to stay open in the face of pop­u­la­tion losses, UCHealth in Aurora, Colo., has the op­po­site prob­lem. The pop­u­la­tion around Den­ver is grow­ing so quickly that the health sys­tem is open­ing com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals around the re­gion to serve pa­tients con­ve­niently and re­lieve ca­pac­ity strains on the main cam­pus.

Over the past few months, UCHealth, whose flag­ship is the Univer­sity of Colorado Hos­pi­tal, has opened UCHealth Grand­view Hos­pi­tal in Colorado Springs and UCHealth Broom­field (Colo.) Hos­pi­tal. In Au­gust, UCHealth Longs Peak Hos­pi­tal in Long­mont is slated to open.

And last week, UCHealth broke ground on the fourth of five com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals that it is build­ing as part of a ma­jor ex­pan­sion plan. Its six-story, $310 mil­lion UCHealth High­lands Ranch (Colo.) Hos­pi­tal is ex­pected to open in early 2019, the aca­demic med­i­cal sys­tem said in a re­lease. It is go­ing up in a boom­ing sub­urb of Den­ver lo­cated about 12 miles south of the city.

The U.S. Cen­sus Bureau ranked Den­ver last year as the na­tion’s fastest-grow­ing large city. Den­ver’s pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing about 3% per year, vault­ing the metropoli­tan area into

the top 20 na­tion­ally. UCHealth High­lands Ranch will open with 72 beds and have room to ex­pand, the sys­tem said in a re­lease. An ad­ja­cent med­i­cal of­fice build­ing will house a two-story cancer cen­ter. The pop­u­la­tion around High­lands Ranch is ex­pected to grow by 25% by 2025, the re­lease said.

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