Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, Fla., said it will build an on-site heart hospital as part of an $84 million project scheduled for completion in 2007. The heart hospital will be attached to the 687-bed main hospital and will include five open-heart operating rooms, seven cardiac catheterization rooms and 21 critical-care patient rooms. Morton Plant performs 900 open-heart surgeries annually. Cardiac care is a hot area for hospital expansion nationwide, perhaps nowhere more so than in Florida. Gov. Jeb Bush recently signed a law giving certificate-of-need exemptions to four hospitals to add open-heart surgery and angioplasty facilities. A ruling is expected this week on a challenge to the law by Tenet Healthcare Corp., which operates a hospital about eight miles from two of the hospitals granted exemptions. -- by Patrick Reilly
Another Fla. hospital plans cardiac expansion
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