UCHealth to open $315 million hospital in Highlands Ranch

Friday, May 27, 2016

UCHealth is adding to its expanding network of medical facilities, this time with a $315 million hospital in Highlands Ranch.

Aurora-based UCHealth on Thursday announced plans to build a hospital and medical campus near Lucent Boulevard and C-470. The six-story Highlands Ranch Hospital will be built on part of Shea Properties’ planned 100-acre Central Park mixed-use development.

The first phase of the Highlands Ranch Hospital includes a 340,000-square-foot inpatient hospital and 70,000-square-foot outpatient facility, said Dan Weaver, a UCHealth spokesman. The hospital is expected to open in 2018 with 72 beds initially. The campus has the potential to expand to 33 acres of the development.

UCHealth has been on a building-and-buying binge in recent years. In addition to a planned hospital in Longmont and a clinic on Colorado State University’s campus in Fort Collins, UCHealth has cut a deal for freestanding First Choice ERs, affiliated with Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins’ Poudre Valley Health System, and snapped up Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie.

UCHealth, which partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is expanding its statewide system to help put services such as clinical trials in closer proximity to patients, said Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth’s president and chief executive.

“It really made a lot of sense for us to choose that location (in Highlands Ranch), so that we can provide advanced care close to home,” she said.

UCHealth officials continually take deep dives into their data to see how far patients are driving and for what services. They superimpose that information on geographic-specific population data to decide where to place a primary care center, an imaging facility, or, in this case, a hospital, Concordia said.

The numbers UCHealth saw in Douglas and Jefferson counties included a projected population increase of 25 percent by 2025.

UCHealth’s actions are similar to steps taken by other health care providers — to leapfrog over traditional local market boundaries and approach statewide systems, said Allan Baumgarten, a Minneapolis-based independent research consultant on health care policy.

“You see a lot of these provider systems that are expanding their geographical reach to the point of trying to appeal to both consumers and employers and to Medicare, in some respects,” he said.

In other instances, specialty medical providers such as MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have partnered with local health care organizations in other states to open satellite facilities, he said.

“The marketing appeal is that in most cases, you’re able to get the benefit of Mayo Clinic expertise close to home,” Baumgarten said. “If I’m a small hospital out there in a part of Colorado, and I’m doing OK and want to maintain autonomy or independence but I’m feeling pressure to affiliate, the possibility of joining one of these national networks could be very appealing.”

 

Source : denverpost.com

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