SEATTLE, June 1, 2007 – Swedish today received official notification that the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has approved its application to build a 175-bed hospital in Issaquah. The State’s decision comes after two appeals by Swedish to reverse the DOH’s original denial of its application.
“We are extremely pleased with the State’s decision to allow us to build a hospital in Issaquah,” said Kevin Brown, chief strategic officer for Swedish. “While we don’t expect the new hospital to open until sometime in 2012, our planning efforts will begin immediately.”
The State’s approval came with the following three conditions, which
Swedish believes it can easily meet:
• Submit a new timeline for implementation of the project
• Verify Swedish meets and will maintain records proving it meets the State’s charity-care policies and law
• Construction of the hospital is to be in three phases. Phase one shall consist of 80 beds. Phase two shall consist of 40 beds. And phase three shall consist of 55 beds. If phase three is not completed within seven years of the completion of phase one, any remaining bed authorization not meeting licensing requirements shall be forfeited. If construction of phase three consists of any amount less than the 55, the bed capacity meeting the licensing requirements at that time shall be the hospital’s final Certificate of Need (CON) bed count
Swedish filed its original CON application in 2004. Overlake Hospital and Medical Center filed a similar CON shortly thereafter. The State denied both applications in 2005 saying there was no need for a hospital, based on its count of available beds in the region. Swedish and Overlake both appealed but an administrative law judge upheld the State’s original decision. Swedish appealed again, arguing that the State should not have included 132 beds from Group Health Eastside Hospital in Redmond in its bed-need calculation since the Cooperative has publicly announced it will close that facility by 2008.
King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer agreed and remanded the decision back to the State to recalculate the bed-need calculation without counting Group Health Eastside Hospital. Hilyer also ruled that the State no longer needed to consider the Overlake application in its process as it had decided to not appeal the administrative law judge’s decision to uphold the State’s denial of their application.
“We have always felt there was significant need for a new hospital in the Greater Issaquah area,” said Brown. “We are very grateful for the outpouring of support for our application by the community and look forward to building a new hospital in Issaquah.”
“I think this clearly shows the demand for additional medical services in East King County,” said Brown.
Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard), a freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics, including three in East King County (Issaquah, Factoria and Pine Lake). In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org
- To read a related Seattle Times article posted on their Web site the afternoon of June 1, click here.
- To read a related Puget Sound Business Journal article posted on their Web site the afternoon of June 1, click here.
- To read a related transcript posted on KIRO TV's (channel 7; CBS) Web site the afternoon of June 1, click here.
- To read a related Seattle Times article published on June 2, click here.
- To read a related Seattle Post-Intelligencer article published on June 2, click here.
- To read a related article published in the June 6 issue of the Issaquah Press, click here.
- To read a related article published in the June 6 issue of The Seattle Times, click here.
- To read a related article posted June 6 on the GlobeSt.com Web site, click here.
- To read a related letter to the editor published in the June 8 issue of The Seattle Times, click here.
- To read a related article published in the June 23 issue of The Seattle Times, click here.