Saturday, August 3, 2013

Washington Adventist Hospital relocation update

WAH President Joyce Newmyer briefed the Takoma Park City Council, on July 22, about the hospital's plans to relocate facilities to White Oak. Video is online; start around 50:00 minutes in. Ms Newmyer told us that WAH plans to submit a new Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Maryland Healthcare Commission by October 4, 2013. Per the e-mail below, the hospital filed a letter of intent yesterday, August 2.

On July 22, Ms Newmyer said that certain services would be "viable and feasible" for retention in Takoma Park, and keeping them here is the plan:

  • Rehabilitation, an in-patient unit with 30 beds, currently.
  • A partner, Community Clinics Inc., will open an on-campus facility at WAH this fall, offering 24/7 walk-in medical care plus outpatient services and supporting laboratory and x-ray facilities. This service is not emergency care. The CCI clinic would stay in Takoma Park post-relocation of other facilities to White Oak.
  • Doctors' offices.
  • WAH "envisions" the wound-care center staying. Ms Newmyer said WAH feels very strongly it is needed here and retaining it here is possible.
  • WAH will propose to leave behavioral/mental health services, which would allow for expansion of both in-patient and out-patient services, which are "profitable and robust."
  • WAH will possibly phase the move of pre-natal and obstetric services. This is not WAH's preference and would be spelled out in the October CON application.
Further, Washington Adventist University intends to lease thousands of square feet of space from WAH for administrative office, educational, and possibly dormitory use.

Ms Newmyer hopes and expects that WAH would have an answer from the Maryland Healthcare Commission within a year of so (that is, fall 2014). There would be six months of site prep in White Oak, then 30 months building, so there would be a minimum of 4-5 years before relocation from 
Takoma Park starts.

(Added material:

I'll offer two points regarding lack of an emergency-care leave-behind, by way of explanation, with the disclaimer that I'm not expert in Maryland healthcare policy:
  • The State of Maryland restricts free-standing emergency care, not attached to a full(er)-service hospital. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Germantown operates a free-standing facility, but it was considered a pilot of some sort. My understanding is that WAH may not, under current state law, leave emergency care behind, in Takoma Park, once other services are relocated to White Oak.
  • WAH might not wish to leave emergency services here, even if it could, given the cost picture. There are two aspects: 1) My understanding is that emergency care is a money-loser. One benefit for WAH of the planned CCI walk-in facility that Joyce Newmyer mentioned is that it will serve many people who would otherwise use the emergency room. Adventist Healthcare has other community health-services programs, such as support for Mobile Medical Care Inc. in Montgomery County, that are similarly designed not only to serve the community, but also to keep people out of the emergency room. Emergency services are expensive and a cost sink given coverage requirements and reimbursement rules. 2) Current WAH emergency-care facilities are apparently out-dated. The cost of upgrade, on the current WAH campus, would be very significant.)



---------- Forwarded message ----------


From: Jonathan Sachs, Director of Public Policy, Adventist HealthCare

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2013

Please see the note below from Joyce Newmyer, President of Washington Adventist Hospital. Today, the hospital and Adventist HealthCare submitted a Letter of Intent to file a Certificate of Need application in October to relocate Washington Adventist to the White Oak area of Montgomery County.



Dear Friends,


Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist HealthCare today submitted a Letter of Intent to the Maryland Health Care Commission which indicates that we will file a Certificate of Need application in early October to relocate Washington Adventist to the White Oak area of Montgomery County.


Over the past several months our team has been diligently working on a new Certificate of Need (CON) project application that ensures a bright future for our patients, staff, physicians and the communities we serve in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. I am excited to be able to share with you some details of our new proposal.


This plan, which we are still finalizing and which needs approval from state agencies over the next few years before we can move forward, addresses the changing nature of health-care delivery and allows us to be good stewards of our health-care dollars by reducing capital costs significantly.


Our application will include relocating the hospital and most services to the property we own in White Oak on Plum Orchard Drive near the Food and Drug Administration headquarters. It would allow us to continue to offer our high level of quality and compassionate care in a more accessible, modern and efficient facility with all private rooms. The new facility, with access from major connecting roads and enhanced public transportation options, improves access for many of our patients and is a more cost-effective solution than attempting to rebuild on our current campus.


I want to assure you that we will continue to provide robust health-care service in Takoma Park, including Behavioral Health services, Diagnostic Outpatient services, a walk-in physician clinic, physician offices and Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland. Our current campus will also have a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) operated by our partner, Community Clinic Inc., which will open later this year.


All elements of this proposal are being carefully developed, consistent with the needs of the community and the changing landscape of health care, marked by alternative ways to deliver care.


I am pleased with how our project is taking shape and, while we need state approvals to move forward, we have a strong plan that demonstrates our commitment to providing the high-quality services and community programs you have come to know and expect from us. I also assure you that we will continue to make needed improvements and reinvest in our current facility as we await approval.


Thank you so much for your continued interest and support of Washington Adventist Hospital. I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress once we formally file our plan in October.


Blessings,


Joyce Newmyer
President, Washington Adventist Hospital

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