- Opponents of the $1 billion Boston Children's Hospital expansion have appealed the Massachusetts Public Health Council decision to fund the project, according to the Boston Business Journal.
- The hospital addition includes the razing of Prouty Garden, a space that the Anne Gamble Ten Taxpayer Group said is a place that both hospitalized children and their families use. The group also said at least two children have had their ashes scattered there.
- Opponents maintain that the hospital did not provide alternatives to its current plan and that the conditions of approval for the expansion give the hospital "too many loopholes" to avoid penalties if costs rise higher than anticipated. McGregor said the group also intends to file an appeal in Suffolk Superior Court as part of an ongoing lawsuit.
The project approval process has lasted more than a year, and the state's public health council approved funding last month. The expansion includes a new 11-story, 71-bed facility and an overhaul of an outpatient clinic in Brookline, MA. Hospital representatives have said that despite claims that spending $1 billion would increase the costs of Boston Children's already expensive services, the majority of additional patients would come from out-of-state and would not be a burden on Massachusetts taxpayers.
There are a few mega hospital projects underway, like the Mayo Clinic's $6 billion, 20-year health district project in Rochester, MN, and the almost-$2 billion Veterans Administration hospital in Aurora, CO. However, the real push is behind smaller neighborhood and outpatient facilities — part outreach and part business strategy — tied to the Affordable Care Act.
Disbursements are becoming connected more to results, and, according to Cindy Juhas, chief strategy officer for medical equipment company CME, healthcare companies have realized that they have to be more convenient to the patient to monitor and achieve targeted, individual health goals. In addition, in-hospital costs are far more expensive than those incurred in clinics, making them an attractive option for the bottom line.
President-elect Donald Trump made repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, part of this campaign platform, so it remains to be seen how this will affect healthcare construction trends.