Kentucky hospitals plan expansion projects totaling $64.4 million

Both hospitals cite high occupancy rates as the reason for the requests.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

University of Kentucky Hospital - Credit: Google Street View University of Kentucky Hospital - Credit: Google Street View

Two hospitals in Lexington, Kentucky have filed requests with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to begin expansion projects that would total $64.4 million between the two of them.

The biggest request comes from the University of Kentucky Hospital, which wants to add 141 acute care beds to the tune of about $50 million, bringing its total number of beds to 865. 

Meanwhile, Baptist Health Lexington has signaled its intent to add 43 acute care beds to its current total of 391. That project would cost about $14.4 million.

UK Hospital recently had an expansion in 2015, but patient volume has been more than expected and it tacked on 120 beds during that expansion effort, according to the Lexington Herald Leader

To move forward with its planned expansion, Baptist Health said it would need to renovate some space on the third and fifth floors of its South tower, totaling 6,000 and 18,000 square feet, respectively.

UK filed its application in January and cited patient need as the primary driver, saying the hospital can often see close to 60 "boarders" at one time -- people for whom there are no beds available and who have to be housed in temporary accommodations. Patients who wanted to transfer to UK were instead routed to other hospitals, some of them out-of-state.

Baptist also cited high occupancy rates when it filed its application.

Kentucky requires a review of expansion proposals to ensure patient access without oversaturating the market.

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