The Florida Legislature’s decision to drop the requirement for a Certificate of Need review for new hospitals is causing BayCare Health System to reconsider its plans for a hospital in Pasco County.
The hospital chain had received a preliminary OK on its Certificate of Need request for a 60-bed hospital on a 111-acre site at the northeast quadrant of Interstate 75 and Overpass Road.
It was pushing ahead with planning for the new facility, despite a challenge filed by AdventHealth’s hospitals in Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills and Dade City.
A hearing on the appeal had been set for August.
But, the repeal of the requirement for a Certificate of Need has created a wide open market for the establishment of hospitals.
The repeal is causing BayCare to take another look at its plans, said BayCare spokeswoman Lisa Razler.
It’s still too early to say how the change will affect the health care system’s plans, Razler said.
“We have a whole new lens to look through,” Razler said. “We’re going to have to take a step back and re-evaluate because with that new legislation, anyone can put a hospital anywhere.”
The health care system was disappointed by the Legislature’s action, Razler said.
“We believed in the planning process,” she said.
Proponents for axing the Certificate of Need requirement said the repeal would promote more competition.
Razler said the issue is more complicated.
“It’s not straight up supply and demand, when it comes to health care, because of all of nuances involved,” Razler said.
BayCare will need to review its plans “to determine what’s the best option, given the new landscape,” the hospital spokeswoman said.
BayCare had been pursuing the hospital in Pasco because of the dramatic population growth and increasing demand for health services.
The construction of the hospital was expected to create 300 jobs, and once it became fully operational, it would need about 300 team members, hospital officials told The Laker/Lutz News in previous interviews.
BayCare had planned to provide these services at the new hospital:
- Emergency services for adults and children
- Intensive care services
- Obstetrical care services
- Diagnostic lab imaging
- Physical rehabilitation
- Behavioral support services
Hospital officials previously said it typically takes about three years from the time a hospital is approved until the physical structure is operating.
At this point, it remains unclear, whether those plans will be pursued.
Published May 29, 2019