HCA to turn Florida freestanding ER into full hospital

HCA has been approved to build an 80-bed hospital in Oviedo, Florida, on the site of an existing freestanding emergency department.

Central Florida Regional Hospital opened its freestanding ER on 48 acres in Oviedo, northeast of Orlando, last November. According to state documents, the ER has seen significant utilization, including a 17 percent admissions increase in its first three months of operation. HCA intends to add inpatient services, diagnostics and more to the future Oviedo Medical Center. An estimated construction cost was not reported.

Officials with HCA have laid out similar plans locally, with long-term plans to add service lines — and possibly a full hospital — on the site of TriStar Health's freestanding ER in Spring Hill, 30 miles south of Nashville.

The state years ago denied HCA's certificate of need application to build a full hospital in Spring Hill, but approved the ER construction, considering it a satellite department of TriStar Centennial Medical Center in midtown. The ER was built in 2012, and officials say they continue to monitor the facility's services and capabilities, evaluating the need for additions or a full hospital.

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CHS invests $2M+ in PA property purchases

Community Health Systems has spent $2.67 million in property purchases between two of its Scranton, Penn. hospitals, reports The Times-Tribune, leading to speculation that the Franklin-based company is planning a major expansion.

Since 2012, CHS has purchased 15 of the 21 properties between Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor Hospital, which the company took over in May 2011 and January 2012, respectively.

Based on the proximity, common ownership, finances and overlap in services, industry experts predict the company plans to convert it into one campus and consolidate services.

However, city planners in Scranton and Lackawanna County report they have not received any land development plans from CHS.

Asked about the permits, purchase of properties and future plans in the area, [officials with CHS subsidiary Commonwealth Health] responded in a statement: "Evaluation of our strategic plans for the future and the services we offer is an ongoing process. We look forward to sharing information with our community should any new plans become firm."

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