WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — BayCare announced it received approval from the Agency for Health Care Administration to build a 60-bed hospital along the I-75 corridor.
- New BayCare hospital to be built along I-75 corridor
- Hospital to be a full-service faciltiy with a 24-hour ER
- Hospital to treat primary and secondary patients
“Pasco County is one of the fastest-growing areas in the communities we serve, and we’re always looking for opportunities where we can serve the community even better,” said BayCare President & CEO Tommy Inzina.
According to BayCare’s certificate of need application, data from Claritas shows current population in what would be the hospital’s service area is estimated at 174,865. That’s expected to grow by more than 16,000, or an increase of 9.4 percent, within the next five years. The 65+ age cohort, a group whose inpatient use rates are two to three times higher than the total population, is expected to see the highest growth.
The new hospital would be built northeast of where I-75 meets Overpass Rd. Inzina said it will be a full-service facility with a 24-hour emergency room and will treat primary and secondary level patients. The CON notes BayCare’s commitment to bring at least six new primary care practitioners to the hospital by its third year of operation.
“It will start out small, and as a small hospital, we don’t envision it would be a trauma center and we wouldn’t do some of the more complex services, such as open heart surgery,” Inzina said.
Construction is expected to create 300 jobs, while another 300 permanent positions are expected to be created by the hosptial’s second year.
“Well, certainly on the eastern side of the county, it’s going to help our overall response times because the response to the hospital’s going to be much shorter,” said Pasco County Fire Rescue Chief Scott Cassin.
Cassin said PCFR’s EMS crews respond to 50,000 calls every year, and a new facility in this location could help manage that volume.
“During the peak hours, we have times where some of our ambulances will be backing up at the hospitals because they can only take so much at a time. Then that causes the whole system to back up,” Cassin said.
A BayCare spokesperson said if there are no challenges to the AHCA’s preliminary approval within 21 days of its publication in the Florida Administration Register on January 2, plans can move forward.
Inzina said it could be anywhere from three to five years before the hospital opens its doors.