Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Bellevue, Wash., entered into competition with Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, for the right to build a hospital in Issaquah. In 2001, 337-bed Overlake filed a letter of intent to build a 30-bed hospital in Issaquah -- where it already operates a campus of specialty clinics and doctors' offices -- but never followed with a formal certificate-of-need application. Last month 214-bed Swedish announced plans to open a $175 million, 175-bed hospital in Issaquah. Overlake subsequently updated its letter of intent, describing a hospital that would start with 30 to 60 beds but grow to 120 beds within 10 to 20 years. Overlake said it expects to file a certificate-of-need application within a few months. The state review could take six to nine months. Meanwhile, Swedish plans to open a standalone emergency room in Issaquah by February 2005. -- by Laura B. Benko
Certificate-of-need fight brews in Wash. state
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