MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., says the company and its physician partners in Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital, Lacombe, have agreed to start construction this summer on a 120-bed expansion of the hospital. The expansion will give the hospital capacity for 178 beds eventually, although 40 of those beds will not be built out initially. The cost of building the new patient tower and equipping the 80 beds that will be put in service initially is about $33 million, the company says. The tower is expected to be completed in late fall of 2008.
MedCath says the hospitals primary service area, St. Tammany Parish on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, has experienced tremendous population growth after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, which is on the south shore of the lake. The expansion also will allow the hospital to diversify its services, although it will still have a strong heart program, MedCath says. The company operates 11 hospitals in eight states.