May 16, 2014

Patients to fill empty CCD floors

The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) plans to fill the space in its new Center for Care and Discovery (CCD) by moving units from the older Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital. With the expanded space in the CCD, the Mitchell Hospital space will be repurposed as office space, clinical areas, and research laboratories, according to the UCMC’s website, though the emergency room will remain.

When the UCMC opened the CCD in February 2013, many hospital functions were transferred from other areas of hospital campus to the new 10-story, 1.2-million-square-foot facility. However, at the time of the CCD’s completion, the third and fourth floors of the building were left empty. Both floors were left as “shelled space” for the hospital to use when more space was needed and more resources were available.

Currently, the CCD houses 180 medical-surgical beds and 60 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. However, on April 17, the UCMC submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board requesting to move 122 medical-surgical beds and 32 ICU beds from the older Mitchell Hospital to the new CCD. The plan also includes increasing the number of observation beds from 15 to 46 and adding 12 ICU beds.

According to the Board, the CON’s aim is to prevent unnecessary construction or renovation of health-care facilities, and a CON is required by Illinois law when a construction or renovation project in a health-care facility is proposed.

With this move, the number of beds in the CCD would increase to 310 while the number of beds in the Mitchell Hospital would drop to 28, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The total number of medical-surgical beds in the University of Chicago Medicine system would remain at a constant 338, observation bed count would increase to 46, and ICU bed count would increase to 126. All ICU and observation beds would be moved to the CCD.

The plan to move hospital beds comes only a year after University of Chicago Medicine successfully submitted another CON application last year to reactivate 38 beds at the Mitchell Hospital.

Executive Director of Strategic Communications Lorna Wong said that the UCMC does not comment on CON applications.

The CON application is yet to be reviewed by the Board. However, the University hopes to complete the project by September 2017. The University says on its CON application that the entire project will cost a little over $123.5 million.