HOMELESS_122104_222356

High Point City Councilman, Ron Wilkins, left, lights a candle to memorialize people in High Point who died homeless in 2004, as Cathy B. Gray, right, community specialist with the Community Development and Housing Department with the City of High Point, looks on during the memorial service on the steps of High Point City Hall in High Point, N.C, Monday, December 20, 2004. (Stf./Nelson Kepley)

Guilford County hospitals won’t have the chance to expand in 2005.

The proposed 2005 State Medical Facilities plan released this summer said Guilford County would need 47 additional inpatient beds by 2009, based on shortages at High Point Regional Hospital and Kindred Hospital in Greensboro. If the plan had remained unchanged, county hospitals could have competed for state approval to build the additional beds.

But the final version of the plan signed this month by Gov. Mike Easley shows no need for extra inpatient slots in Guilford County.

The reason for the change: Kindred Hospital’s projected bed deficit of 35 was excluded from the calculation of whether Guilford County needs more inpatient beds, said Jim Keene, a planner with the state’s division of facility services.

High Point Regional officials said the hospital would need an extra 12 inpatient beds by 2009. But in order to trigger the certificate-of-need approval process, High Point Regional’s deficit would have to be 20 or more beds or 10 percent of the hospital’s 291 inpatient beds.

Why was Kindred Hospital eliminated from the calculation?

Greensboro-based Moses Cone Health System and Winston-Salem-based Novant Health Triad Region filed petitions with the state opposing Kindred’s inclusion in the formula. Among its contentions: That Kindred’s beds are exclusively for long-term care — and state rules prohibit Kindred from applying for additional inpatient beds because it doesn’t provide round-the-clock emergency services.

Moses Cone’s petition said it opposed the increase to insure that unnecessary inpatient beds aren’t established.

“We certainly want to match up the demand with the supply,” said Jim Roskelly, Moses Cone’s vice president of corporate planning and development.

Kindred is a long-term acute care hospital serving patients with serious medical problems that require lengthy hospital stays. Most facilities like Kindred are affiliated with other hospitals or lease their beds from other hospitals, meaning there’s a chance those beds could be redirected to “general,” or short-term patient visits. But Kindred is independently operated and owns its beds, so its inpatient beds are used exclusively for long-term patient care.

In its own comments to the state, High Point Regional argued that inpatient beds used for long-term care should be counted “to most effectively capture” all licensed inpatient beds. High Point Regional’s written statement also noted that removing Kindred from the calculations would eliminate the possibility of any new beds in Guilford County. “Guilford County needs more beds now. This is evident from the fact that ... (High Point Regional) itself generated a need for additional beds.”

But because Kindred’s long-term inpatient beds can’t be shifted to general inpatient use, the state’s division of facility services recommended that Kindred should be excluded from Guilford County’s calculations.

The division of facility services believes High Point Regional will grow enough on its own in coming years to trigger the need for more beds.

Molly Dickinson, a planning analyst with High Point Regional, said the hospital is currently able to accommodate its patients with the facilities it has now, but expects the number of patients it serves to keep growing and will eventually need to expand.

“We’re looking to the future,” she said.

Contact Eric Swensen at 883-4422, Ext. 227, or eswensen@news-record.comGuilford County hospitals won’t have the chance to expand in 2005.

The proposed 2005 State Medical Facilities plan released this summer said Guilford County would need 47 additional inpatient beds by 2009, based on shortages at High Point Regional Hospital and Kindred Hospital in Greensboro. If the plan had remained unchanged, county hospitals could have competed for state approval to build the additional beds.

But the final version of the plan signed this month by Gov. Mike Easley shows no need for extra inpatient slots in Guilford County.

The reason for the change: Kindred Hospital’s projected bed deficit of 35 was excluded from the calculation of whether Guilford County needs more inpatient beds, said Jim Keene, a planner with the state’s division of facility services. High Point Regional said they would need an extra 12 inpatient beds by 2009. But in order to trigger the certificate-of-need approval process, High Point Regional’s deficit would have to be 20 or more beds or 10 percent of the hospital’s 291 inpatient beds.

Why was Kindred Hospital eliminated from the calculation?

Greensboro-based Moses Cone Health System and Winston-Salem-based Novant Health Triad Region filed petitions with the state opposing Kindred’s inclusion in the formula. Among its contentions: that Kindred’s beds are exclusively for long-term care — and state rules prohibit Kindred from applying for additional inpatient beds because it doesn’t provide round-the-clock emergency services.

Moses Cone’s petition said it opposed the increase to insure that unnecessary inpatient beds aren’t established.

“We certainly want to match up the demand with the supply,” said Jim Roskelly, Moses Cone’s vice president of corporate planning and development.

Kindred is a long-term acute care hospital serving patients with serious medical problems that require lengthy hospital stays. Most facilities like Kindred are affiliated with other hospitals or lease their beds from other hospitals, meaning there’s a chance those beds could be redirected to “general,” or short-term patient visits. But Kindred is independently operated and owns its beds, so its inpatient beds are used exclusively for long-term patient care.

In its own comments to the state, High Point Regional argued that inpatient beds used for long-term care should be counted “to most effectively capture” all licensed inpatient beds. High Point Regional’s written statement also noted that removing Kindred from the calculations would eliminate the possibility of any new beds in Guilford County. “Guilford County needs more beds now. This is evident from the fact that .... (High Point Regional) itself generated a need for additional beds.”

But because Kindred’s long-term inpatient beds can’t be shifted to general inpatient use, the state’s division of facility services recommended that Kindred should be excluded from Guilford County’s calculations.

The division of facility services believes High Point Regional will grow enough on its own in coming years to trigger the need for more beds.

Molly Dickinson, a planning analyst with High Point Regional, said the hospital is currently able to accommodate its patients with the facilities it has now, but expects the number of patients it serves to keep growing and will eventually need to expand.

“We’re looking to the future,” she said.

Contact Eric Swensen at 883-4422, Ext. 227, or eswensen@news-record.com

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