Riverside Health System today submitted a new application for a state Certificate of Public Need (COPN) to build Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg, according to RHS Project Coordinator Steve Montgomery.
The new application seeks approval to construct and operate a hospital with 31 acute care beds and 12 rehabilitation beds on the company’s Quarterpath property in the city of Williamsburg. Total capital cost for the facility is estimated at $76.3 million.
“The current application proposes a facility less costly than was presented in the application submitted last year, but with the possibility of expansion in the future as demand for health care services increases,” Montgomery said.
“We’ve eliminated the 18 long term acute care beds (LTAC) proposed last year, and reduced the rehabilitation beds from 20 to 12. While we think these beds still may be needed in the future, the reductions reflect our effort to address the concerns of the State Health Commissioner as expressed in his March decision to deny approval of the first RHS application submitted in June 2005.” Montgomery said.
“We have protected the core of the hospital and allowed for space for growth and expansion for when the time comes,” Montgomery added...
He said the proposed hospital will provide full 24/7 emergency room services, surgery, radiology, laboratory, cardio-pulmonary, neurological and therapy services.
He also said that Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg will focus on serving the medical and surgical needs of the 50 plus population that is the most rapidly growing segment of the population in Williamsburg, James City County and York County.
“As we look to the future, we believe the burgeoning mature population in the Greater Williamsburg area will create escalating demands for health care services that are convenient, require minimal travel time and are geared specifically to their medical problems.” Montgomery said.
The application seeks to transfer 31 licensed acute care beds from Riverside Regional Medical Center and 12 rehabilitation beds from Riverside Rehabilitation Institute in Newport News.
Approval of an application for a state COPN is multi-step process that requires a review and recommendation by the Eastern Virginia Health Systems Agency (EVHSA), a similar review and recommendation by the state COPN staff, and a final review and decision by the State Health Commissioner.
There will be a public hearing in Williamsburg sometime in September, Montgomery said. Following that hearing, EVHSA will make its recommendation; the state staff review will follow that. These recommendations will likely reach the Commissioner’s desk in late fall. A decision to approve or deny the application is likely in the early part of 2007.
The review process is required to include public comment, and residents who may wish to express an opinion on the application may do so by writing to Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H., State Health Commissioner, Virginia Department of Health, P.O. Box 2448, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2448.
“We certainly hope that citizens who support Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg will express that support to the Commissioner,” Montgomery said.
Published: June 30, 2006