University of Chicago Medicine clears regulatory hurdles for new projects

University of Chicago Medicine clears regulatory hurdles for new projects

August 27, 2014

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved two significant Certificate of Need (CON) applications from the University of Chicago Medicine on Wednesday, giving the state's approval to build out two shelled floors of the Center for Care and Discovery and to develop a new ambulatory outpatient health care facility in southwest suburban Orland Park.

A number of former patients, physicians, nurses and interested third-party people, including representatives of the town of Orland Park, spoke on behalf of UChicago Medicine at a daylong IHFSRB hearing in Normal, Ill.

"We're very pleased the Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved our applications and recognized how these two projects underscore our commitment to our patients and the communities they live in," said Sharon O'Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

The third and fourth floors of the CCD, which opened in February 2013, were deliberately left vacant to enable the 1.1 million-square-foot hospital the flexibility to meet the anticipated growing demand for state-of-the-art tertiary and quaternary care provided by the hospital.

As part of the approved CON filing for the CCD, UChicago Medicine will transfer 122 medical-surgical beds and 32 intensive care unit beds from the Mitchell Hospital to the CCD to consolidate acute-care facilities and improve the efficiency of caring for its patients.

Building out these two floors is part of a master facility plan that will see the academic medical center shift the clinical core of care for its most acutely ill patients to the CCD from the Mitchell Hospital.

The second approved project is for a four-story, 127,000-square-foot facility in downtown Orland Park, at LaGrange Road and 143rd Street.

The project was designed to meet the needs of a changing health care environment, where care will be increasingly delivered in an ambulatory setting. Also, research showed the Orland Park area will need 370 additional physicians and more than 400 new exam rooms by 2018 to keep pace with population growth and the anticipated impact of the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, approximately 122,000 outpatient visits in fiscal 2013 to the main Hyde Park came from patients in the south suburbs.