NJ officials approve plan for $1B Virtua hospital
- The New Jersey Health Planning Board has given Virtua Health System its approval to replace the healthcare company's 90-year-old hospital in Mount Holly, NJ, with a new $1 billion medical campus a few miles away, according to NJ.com.
- The new complex will be in Westampton, NJ, and will include between 339 and 383 beds, inpatient and outpatient services, an ambulatory surgical center, emergency services, long-term care, assisted living, medical offices and a women's and children's pavilion.
- The board's approval is contingent on Virtua meeting 13 specific criteria, including an environmental review and authorization from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Virtua must still get the green light from the state health commissioner, but that approval is expected within the next three months.
During the last several months, healthcare giants across the U.S. have announced construction plans for new large-scale medical complexes. Last month, Cincinnati Children's Hospital revealed its plans for a $650 million expansion, the focal point of which is an eight-story, 650,000-square-foot patient tower.
Boston Children's Hospital also won approval from the Massachusetts Public Health Council last October for a $1 billion expansion. That project faced the challenge of protests from activists who objected to the hospital's plans to demolish a garden on the property and who said spending such a large amount on the project would result in higher medical costs for existing patients.
The 38th annual Modern Healthcare Construction & Design Survey, released last month, found that despite the Republican push to do away with the Affordable Care Act, the construction industry is still enthusiastic about the future of healthcare construction, especially when it comes to retail and outpatient clinics.
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