Management of Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., paid little attention to budget in an expansion project design, according to a report released this month by the healthcare architecture firm NBBJ, Seattle.
After receiving state approval, costs for the expansion at the hospital nearly doubled to more than $370 million, the report said.
The firm, which was hired by Vermont regulators as a consultant, said there was little hope of reducing the cost because construction has been under way for nearly two years and most materials have been purchased.
Vermont regulators approved the expansion at $173.4 million in 2000, and the hospital has permits allowing it to spend a total of $228 million; the state must approve an additional $146 million in spending if the project is to meet its projected cost.
Late last year, a Fletcher Allen committee concluded that executives had withheld information on project costs to avoid a certificate-of-need review. Fletcher Allen's former chief executive officer resigned last September after state and federal investigators began examining regulatory compliance issues at the hospital.