EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I.Bradley Hospital, a child psychiatric facility, has received state approval to build new facilities on its current campus. The $31 million project will include construction of a 45,000-square-foot hospital and renovation and expansion of its outpatient services, which will continue to be housed inside the 51-bed hospitals original Laufer building. The new building is scheduled for completion in fall 2009, and the renovations are expected to be finished by spring 2010. The certificate of need requires the hospital to self-finance at least 20% of the project, with up to 80% of the money coming from loans, bond offerings or other sources of debt, said Daniel Wall, Bradleys president and chief executive officer. We dont know the actual (financial) sources yet, but well be raising as much money as possible, Wall said. Like the current hospitalwhich was built in 1931 and has an institutional feel, according to Wallthe new facility will also have 60 beds. But the space will be more open and patient rooms will be private instead of semiprivate, giving the hospital more flexibility with admissions. The new building will also allow medical workers to more easily monitor patients, said Wall, while the renovated Laufer building will expand the hospitals outpatient programs and double capacity from 25 to 50 patients at any given time. Hospital officials expect the new and expanded facilities to add about 50 employees to the hospitals payroll.
AUGUSTA, MaineMaineGeneral Health opened its Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, a $42 million outpatient treatment facility, which expects to serve roughly 7,000 patients annually. The center is the culmination of a 10-year effort to centralize cancer treatment services offered at Mid-Maine Medical Center and Kennebec Valley Medical Center, which merged in 1997 to form MaineGeneral, according to the systems president and chief executive officer, Scott Bullock. The price tag for the 55,000-square-foot cancer center includes $8.9 million spent on diagnostic, radiation and other treatment equipment. The center features an outdoor treatment area, walking paths and gardens. The center also is the first in the state to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Certification required the hospital to use sustainable materials, such as nontoxic paints, and green construction methods to build the center, and also mandated the installation of energy-efficient appliances.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.Gov. Don Carcieris vetoes of two bills earlier this month may complicate legislators efforts to find solutions for the states growing challenges to healthcare quality and mounting debt at hospitals. One bill sought to ban hospitals from requiring nurses and nursing assistants to work mandatory overtime, while the second would have required health insurers and employers to help shoulder hospitals growing burden of bad debt resulting from unpaid patient copayments and deductibles. The proposed mandatory overtime ban, which received near-unanimous support from both the state House and Senate, would have prevented hospitals from forcing nurses and nursing assistants to work longer than their agreed-upon eight-, 10- or 12-hour shifts, except in the case of emergencies or disasters. Hospitals would have faced a fine of $300 per violation under the legislation. The bad-debt legislation, passed by the General Assembly two weeks ago, would have required insurance companies to reimburse hospitals for a portion of unpaid patient copayments and deductibles. But Carcieri said the legislation would likely accelerate the increase in Rhode Islands health insurance problems by passing on the cost of bad-debt sharing to consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums and increase the number of uninsured by limiting employers ability to offer high-deductible plans. State Sen. John Tassoni Jr., the Democrat who sponsored the nurse-overtime bill, said he expects the Legislature, which is now in recess, to call a special override session to address the vetoed health legislation, but no session has been scheduled.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.