MERIDEN —The state Office of Health Services continues to review MidState Medical Center’s request for a $26 million expansion to accommodate more surgeries.
The hospital filed a Certificate of Need in April to add the three new operating rooms. Since then, OHS has sought information on historical and projected costs of surgical care and on current operating room use. According to MidState’s application, the hospital has seen an increase in the demand for surgeries since it opened the Connecticut Orthopedic Institute in 2017.
MidState, located on Lewis Avenue, recently sent its responses and hopes to get the go-ahead soon.
“They asked some clarifying questions and we resent the second round responses,” said Gary Havican, president of MidState and The Hospital of Central Connecticut, and a senior vice president of parent company Hartford HealthCare. “They were very minor we should hear from them soon.”
Much of the increase in surgeries is the result of recruiting 37 new orthopaedic surgeons, many of whom came on board in 2017, when the orthopaedic center opened. An additional 27 surgeons have also joined the staff, significantly increasing the demand for operating room space.
”Existing operating room capacity is increasingly being utilized...For the four month period January 2019 through April 2019, overall utilization increased to 77 percent,” the response said.
In addition to the three new operating rooms, the 10,000 square foot expansion plan includes increasing the central sterile supply area, a new pharmacy, a hybrid laboratory and an area for state-of-the art technology for vascular surgeries.
“These are advance services we provide to the community,” Havican said. “All these pieces are in play at the same time. It’s a major development.”
If approved, the expansion and new equipment will be paid for through operating costs, according to the filing. There has been no public hearing on the proposal.
Longer term plans
The $26 million expansion and renovation is separate from MidState’s longer term plans to build medical office buildings on surrounding land now used by the Meriden Soccer Club.
The field site is technically owned by MidState, but the city has a 99-year lease for the property. The city required the old Veterans Memorial Medical Center to construct the fields as part of the approval for the new MidState hospital back in the 1990s because construction of the hospital led to the city losing two baseball fields and one soccer field.
MidState contacted the city last year about its plans for a new medical facility and agreed to pay for a study looking at field relocation options.
Meriden engineering firm BL Companies was hired to complete the study and is expected to release the report soon, according to city Parks and Recreation Director Chris Bourdon.
Bourdon said three locations are being considered — Washington Park, Ceppa Field, and a privately owned vacant lot at 525 Kensington Ave. with 30 total acres. A draft report has been submitted to city officials.
BL’s report will give more information to the city and MidState about the feasibility of each site along with cost estimates. Bourdon said it hasn't been determined whether the city or MidState would pay relocation costs, but expects it will be discussed at a future meeting.
MidState has also filed another Certificate of Need application with the OHS to acquire 51 percent of the ownership interests of Milford Surgery Center. It plans to add orthopaedics to the center’s podiatry services in Milford. MidState expects surgeries at the center to increase from 673 cases in partial fiscal year 2019 to 2,690 in fiscal year 2020.
The acquisition is part of Hartford Hospital’s plan to expand its reach into medical specialty services.
“Ambulatory surgery centers are part of a national healthcare trend, and part of Hartford HealthCare’s efforts to provide patients the right care, at the right place, at the right time,” said MidState spokesman Shawn Mawhiney.