State Hospitals Add Beds to Help with Coronavirus Crisis

hospital-1802679_1920 - pixabay - 4.1.20Six hospitals — Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Life Bridge Health’s Northwest Hospital in Randallstown, Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Frederick Health Hospital, University of Maryland’s Laurel Regional Hospital, Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury — are working quickly to add emergency hospital beds in preparation for a potential coronavirus surge.

These hospitals are on the way to adding 340 new hospital beds by following new emergency certificate of need (CON) request protocols that significantly shortens the approval and execution process that usually take years to complete.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports:

Ben Steffen, the executive director of the health care commission, recently alerted hospitals of the option to apply for emergency CONs when “a situation presents hazards to employees or patients of a health care facility.” The emergency clearances allow hospitals to pursue efficient and creative options for increasing capacity as the state braces for a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Six hospitals have been awarded emergency CON approvals so far, after citing plans to add a total of 340 new hospital beds across their facilities, at a collective cost of nearly $40 million. The emergency CONs are initially valid for 165 days, or until 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency declared by Gov. Hogan on March 5.

For more information:

Six state hospitals adding 340 new beds in push to meet coronavirus demand (The Baltimore Business Journal)