SARASOTA (July 9, 2018) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System received approval today from the state to move ahead with its new hospital in Venice. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration issued a final order granting the long-awaited "Certificate of Need,” which will allow SMH to open a new 90-bed acute care facility on Laurel Road.
The approval is the last big hurdle in the multi-year application and approval process. Ultimately, AHCA agreed that SMH’s new facility will improve south county residents’ access to high-quality, affordable care and ease capacity challenges at its main Sarasota campus due to the large increase in patient volumes in recent years.
“This is a win-win-win for our entire region,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder. “Patients from south county who now have to drive to our main campus soon will be able to obtain care at a new state-of-the-art hospital conveniently located near the I-75/Laurel Road intersection in Venice. That will ease congestion and allow us to enhance care for patients using our main campus. In addition, the new facility will bring our extensive physician base further south, which will support our efforts to establish a future hospital in North Port (there) as well.”
Meanwhile, Sarasota Memorial continues to move full steam ahead with planning, designing and building the new 65-acre hospital campus. The efforts will be led by new Sarasota Memorial Hospital - Laurel Road President Sharon Roush, who joined SMH a few weeks ago. Last month, SMH held a neighborhood workshop in Venice to share preliminary plans with the community, and is planning additional meetings and construction updates in the coming months.
Founded in 1925, Sarasota Memorial is Sarasota County’s only public hospital, and the only not-for-profit health system and health-care safety net in the region. The Laurel Road hospital will be the most significant addition in Sarasota Memorial’s 93-year history.
It will take about three years to build the new hospital, which will have 90 acute-care beds, 20 beds for observation patients, an Emergency Care Center with 25 treatment rooms, a 10-bed Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum unit for deliveries and postpartum care, as well as a dedicated operating room for obstetrical procedures and C-sections. Services include emergency care, obstetrics, medical, surgical and intensive care units, surgical suites, including a dedicated operating room for obstetrical procedures or medically necessary C-sections; cardiac catheterization/interventional services; endoscopy suite; respiratory services; infusion/chemotherapy services; rehabilitation services, radiology/imaging services; a laboratory and pharmacy, among other clinical services. The campus will offer all private rooms, advanced hurricane hardening and a seamless connection to SMH’s electronic medical records and information technology. It also will offer a full complement of outpatient services.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration granted preliminary approval of SMH’s Certificate of Need application in 2016, but the project was delayed after surrounding hospitals challenged the state's decision. A judge affirmed AHCA’s decision in May. For-profit hospitals in the south county area have the right to appeal AHCA’s final order in the next 30 days, but hospital officials say that is unlikely as the chances of winning are slim and the state statute contains harsh consequences if they lose.
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 829-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient care – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016.