State board to consider Carle expansion request

State board to consider Carle expansion request

URBANA — A state board will take up Carle Foundation Hospital's latest proposed expansion project next week.

Carle wants to finish the ninth floor of its tower space that has been reserved for future expansion and add 48 new hospital beds, boosting the total number of beds to 393.

The cost of the project is $17.7 million, with the anticipated completion date Jan. 31, 2016, according to a staff report of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Set to meet next Monday in Bolingbrook, the board will determine whether Carle can build out this space and add the beds based on whether it determines there's a need for additional capacity in Carle's patient service region.

The new ninth-floor unit would be medical/surgical space, increasing the number of medical/surgical beds Carle has from 212 to 260.

Stephanie Beever, Carle senior vice president for system strategic development, said Carle has an "immediate need" for these new beds.

"Based on our current trend, by the time we complete the build-out, we believe that we will be utilizing all 48 beds within two years," she said in an email.

In fact, Beever said based on the use trend over the past three years, Carle may need more beds, but is still sticking with the current request before the board and "as we move forward, we will re-assess utilization trends to determine our facility requirements."

Carle said in its application it needs more beds because of its growing regional draw. Its level 1 trauma center brings in more seriously hurt and ill patients and its specialties are treating patients with longer-than-average lengths of stay.

Carle operated in excess of the state's prescribed occupancy target of 88 percent for both 2012 and 2013, according to the state board report.

The report also said a June inventory found an excess of 158 medical/surgical beds in the local health planning area.

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