Shore Health submits new hos­pi­tal ap­pli­ca­tion

Record Observer - - News - Fol­low me on Twit­ter @jbol­l_s­tar­dem. By JOSH BOLLINGER jbollinger@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health of­fi­cially sub­mit­ted its mod­i­fied ap­pli­ca­tion to the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion for a new hos­pi­tal in Tal­bot County to re­place the Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Eas­ton.

The hos­pi­tal sys­tem’s mod­i­fied cer­tifi­cate of need was sub­mit­ted to the state on Tues­day, Oct. 11. The orig­i­nal was sub­mit­ted to the state was in 2012.

Ac­cord­ing to Shore Re­gional Health, the mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the ap­pli­ca­tion re­flect “the con­tin­u­ing changes in health care — par­tic­u­larly in­pa­tient ser­vices — in Mary­land and the na­tion, where hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions are de­clin­ing due to ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, the shift of pro­ce­dures and surg­eries to out­pa­tient fa­cil­i­ties, and im­prove­ments in qual­ity and pre­ven­ta­tive care that re­duce un­nec­es­sary ad­mis­sions through bet­ter chronic dis­ease and post-dis­charged man­age­ment of care.”

Shore Re­gional Health’s new hos­pi­tal is planned for three miles north of Eas­ton be­tween the Tal­bot County Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and the Eas­ton Air­port/New­nam Field, west of Long­woods Road.

The new hos­pi­tal, es­ti­mated to cost about $350 mil­lion, is planned to house 109 beds — 95 acute and 14 acute re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion — all of which will be in pri­vate rooms. There are also plans for 10 ob­ser­va­tion beds, state of the art pa­tient care units and sup­port ser­vices, 28 emer­gency depart­ment treat­ment rooms and six op­er­at­ing rooms.

The new hos­pi­tal’s scope of ser­vices in­cludes all present Eas­ton ser­vices, plus a new PCI pro­gram — per­cu­ta­neous coro­nary in­ter­ven­tion, or heart block­age di­ag­no­sis and in­ter­ven­tion/stent­ing.

The his­tory of a new hos­pi­tal ven­ture be­gan be­fore 2007, when the county coun­cil of­fered to buy 78 acres and do­nate it to what was then Shore Health Sys­tem.

Since then it has been an up and down project, with the hos­pi­tal’s ap­pli­ca­tion for a cer­tifi­cate of need fac­ing what the county hoped was only a tem­po­rary block in the of­fices of the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion. The ap­pli­ca­tion was un­der re­view since orig­i­nally be­ing sub­mit­ted.

Shore Re­gional Health called the ex­ist­ing Eas­ton hos­pi­tal, at 219 S. Wash­ing­ton St., “an­ti­quated and in­ef­fi­cient in its de­sign, with in­fra­struc­ture needs, cam­pus space is­sues and a land­locked lo­ca­tion in the Eas­ton neigh­bor­hood that grew around it, caus­ing a bar­rier to ac­cess by the public and for emer­gency ve­hi­cles.”

The cer­tifi­cate of need re­view process by the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion is an­tic­i­pated to last at least a year.

Ac­cord­ing to Shore Re­gional Health, a process will soon be­gin to con­sider the best use of the ex­ist­ing hos­pi­tal site in Eas­ton, once a new hos­pi­tal opens around 2022, pend­ing nec­es­sary ap­provals, fund­ing, in­fra­struc­ture and per­mits. The process will in­volve mem­bers from the town and county coun­cils, lo­cal busi­nesses, com­mu­nity part­ners and neigh­bor­hood res­i­dents.

“We ex­tend our sin­cere thanks to the UM Shore Re­gional Health board, med­i­cal staff, vol­un­teers and the en­tire team at Shore Re­gional Health, and to the UMMS (Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Sys­tem) board and our many col­leagues at UMMS for their dili­gent on­go­ing sup­port, as well as to our ar­chi­tects and ad­vi­sors who have worked on get­ting the project to this mo­men­tous day,” said Ken Kozel, CEO of UM Shore Re­gional Health.

“Our thanks are extended to Tal­bot County govern­ment, the Town of Eas­ton and to neigh­bor­ing coun­ties, agen­cies and many com­mu­nity part­ners for their sup­port,” Kozel added. “Thank you for your un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to this im­por­tant chap­ter in the life of Shore Re­gional Health.”

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