By Ben McNeely
Novant Health has appealed the state’s approval for CMC-NorthEast to build a new eight-story patient tower at the Concord hospital.
The Health Service Regulation division gave CMC-NorthEast, and its parent company Carolinas HealthCare System, the green light in late February.
The Winston-Salem-based health care system filed its appeal on March 27. In the appeal filing, Novant said the new patient tower would take away patients from its facilities in the area.
Novant owns and operates Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and Presbyterian Hospital-Huntersville. It also has nine practices that are a part of Novant Medical Group in Cabarrus County.
“We are disappointed that Novant has chosen to appeal this project that has already been approved by the state,” said CHS spokesman Scott White, in a statement. “The approved project at CMC-NorthEast does not pose a competitive threat to Novant … All this appeal will accomplish is to delay a project that the state agrees is needed and that has the widespread support of Concord/Cabarrus County and nearby communities.”
The $264 million patient tower and renovation project will add about 425,000 square feet of new space to CMC-NorthEast.
The project will proceed in phases, with a new second floor of the surgery center scheduled to open in 2011. The eight-story patient tower, which will replace hospital rooms dating back to the 1930s, will be completed by mid-2013 and a renovation of the Mariam Cannon Hayes Family Center is scheduled for January 2014.
This is part of the $650 million commitment that Carolinas HealthCare System made to upgrade facilities when CMC-NorthEast merged with the Charlotte-based health care giant in 2006.
The new patient tower would replace about 218 beds that are antiquated. The hospital has a full complement of 457 beds, but some of those are in older buildings on the hospital campus. About 66 beds do not have a bathroom in the room.
The patient tower has been on the minds of hospital executives, even before the merger. It was included on NorthEast Medical Center’s 2015 Plan, a facilities planning document that spelled out what would be needed to meet patient care by the year 2015, prior to the merger.
Novant pursued a proposal to build Rowan Regional Medical Center South for the Kannapolis region, but it was rejected by the state in 2008.
The state, instead, approved CMC-Kannapolis, a proposed healthplex by CHS to be built on Lane Street.
• Contact reporter Ben McNeely: 704-785-4932.