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    Commission shares recommendation for Wash. Adventist Hospital relocation
    The panel will consider proposal for $336 million project at its Dec. 17 meeting
    Baltimore, MD (November 19, 2015) – The Maryland Health Care Commission released a Recommended Decision in the matter of the proposed relocation of Washington Adventist Hospital (WAH),  a hospital owned and operated by Gaithersburg-based Adventist HealthCare (AHC).  WAH is currently located in Takoma Park (Montgomery County). The proposed site is in the White Oak area of Silver Spring at 12100 Plum Orchard Drive. The site is adjacent to US RT 29 and the ICC MD 200 and is part of the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan.
    The Recommended Decision was prepared by Commissioner Frances Phillips. Commissioner Phillips recommends that the Commission approve the Certificate of Need (CON) application to relocate and replace the general acute care hospital now at Takoma Park.  Acute psychiatric inpatient facilities currently part of WAH would remain at Takoma Park, to be relicensed as a special hospital for psychiatric services that, administratively, would be operated by Adventist Behavioral Health, also a division of AHC. The separately licensed special hospital for medical rehabilitation operated on the Takoma Park campus also would remain on that campus. A condition in the recommendation requires AHC to provide a full-time (24/7/365) urgent care center at the Takoma Park campus. On-campus laboratory and radiology services would support the urgent care center and the special psychiatric and rehabilitation hospital operations that would remain at the existing site. 
    WAH in Takoma Park is currently licensed for 230 beds, which includes a 40-bed psychiatric unit.  AHC proposes a smaller replacement hospital of 170 beds, providing medical/surgical and obstetric inpatient services, with the 40-bed psychiatric facility continuing to operate in Takoma Park. The estimated project cost is $330.8 million for the relocation and replacement of the general hospital and $5.2 million for the renovation of the existing inpatient psychiatric unit, for a total of $336.1 million, approximately $62 million less than an earlier relocation proposal that AHC withdrew after a Commissioner issued a recommended denial of the application in 2012. 
    Commissioner Phillips briefly explained her recommendation in a cover memo attached to her proposed decision, stating:
    “I found the proposed project to be financially feasible and likely to create a viable and sustainable general hospital in the Silver Spring area that will operate in conjunction with a special hospital and outpatient service campus operated by AHC in Takoma Park to serve most of the needs of the service area population historically served by WAH.  My findings in this regard are supported by the Health Service Cost Review Commission … which provided a generally positive review of this project’s financial prospects.”
    The Commission will consider the Recommended Decision at its public meeting on December 17, 2015, at which time oral argument by the parties will be heard. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the Commission offices at 4160 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21215. At that meeting, the Commission will decide whether to adopt the proposed decision. As provided under Commission rules, the applicant and interested parties may submit written exceptions to the Recommended Decision and may present argument on those exceptions before the Commission.
    The full text of the Recommended Decision can be found at: 


    For additional information, contact Erin Dorrien, chief of Government and Public Affairs, at 443-615-1338.
    About the Maryland Health Care Commission
    The Maryland Health Care Commission is a 15-member, independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access in a rapidly changing health care environment by providing timely and accurate information on availability, cost, and quality of services to policy makers, purchasers, providers and the public. The 15 Commissioners are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Maryland Senate. The Commission's vision for Maryland is to ensure that informed consumers hold the health care system accountable and have access to affordable and appropriate health care services through programs that serve as models for the nation.
    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the state government agency that protects Maryland’s public health and also works to help Marylanders make better health decisions for better health outcomes. Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH and www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH. 
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