Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center plans to spend $14.3 million to transform one of its facilities into a new hospital specializing in brain and spinal care.
The OSU board of trustees approved the renovation Friday. The new facility will be in the former site of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, which relocated to a newly constructed building.
The new facility, boasting 90 beds in private rooms and expected to open in 2016, will bring together physicians and research faculty with expertise in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, to allow for more integrated treatment of patients. Some of the beds will be dedicated solely to clinical trials—the institute conducts over 300 a year.
Physicians, social workers and ancillary staff in the new facility will work in disease-specific teams to provide specialized, patient-focused treatment, said Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the university's Neurological Institute. The hospital is an expansion of the institute, which is a multi-college, multi-disciplinary initiative involving 180 physicians and faculty engaging in neuroscience treatment, research and education.
Though many systems have heart or cancer hospitals, Rezai said it is rare for health systems to invest in an entire facility dedicated to brain and spine care.
“It's few and far in between,” Rezai said. “There are centers across the country, but it's really rare to have a structural coordination of all the physicians and scientists, all the hospitals and outpatient units, and all the research programs.”
The integrated treatment approach is comparable to the medical home model, Rezai said, and improves communication between clinicians from differing units. The renovation makes financial sense, he said, even as most hospitals are investing in outpatient centers rather inpatient facilities.
“It provides additional fiscal efficiencies, revenue growth opportunities, cost reduction and economies of scale,” Rezai said. “Neuro is actually a very rapidly growing area because the population is aging and traumatic brain injuries are very common.”
OSU will issue requests for proposals in February for architecture, engineering, construction management and other services. Construction is expected to take about 14-months.
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