PARKERSBURG - Camden Clark Medical Center is a step closer to a consolidated campus with the issuance of a certificate of need by the West Virginia Health Care Authority.
On Wednesday, the West Virginia Health Care Authority announced the approval of a certificate of need to the hospital to allow for the consolidation of all services of Camden Clark Medical Center from two campuses to one.
"We had to submit for a certificate of need to move ahead with the plans" said Tim Brunicardi, director of marketing and public affairs for the medical center.
Officials had been waiting for the certificate of need to begin construction and renovations. The capital expenditure associated with the proposed consolidation is $47,273,000, the authority said..
"We had expected the approval in October, so receiving it now sets us back a little," Brunicardi said.
Officials with the hospital have been discussing the upcoming consolidation of the St. Joseph's and Memorial campuses since early 2012.
"We are anxious to move forward and are looking toward sharing the plans with the public and are glad this plan was approved by the authority," Brunicardi said.
Because of the amount of work involved, the transition from two to one campus will not be quick.
"It is going to be a few years with the new construction and renovations before the consolidation of the two campuses is complete," said Brunicardi.
In June, Camden Clark purchased four lots on 7 1/2 Street and two lots on Eighth Street adjacent to the Memorial Campus. These properties will likely be worked into the consolidation plans with other properties.
During the next five years, the medical center is planning to move all of the operations from the St. Joseph's Campus to the Memorial Campus, eventually closing the St. Joseph's Campus.
The certificate of need program is a regulatory element used to achieve the goals of controlling health care costs, improving the quality and efficiency of health care systems, encouraging the collaboration and develop a system of health care delivery which makes health services available to all in West Virginia.
These programs are often associated with cost containment measures, according to the state health care authority's website (www.hcawv.org).
West Virginia is one of 36 states and the District of Columbia that has a certificate of need program to regulate their health care.
In West Virginia, all health care providers must obtain a certificate of need before adding or expanding health care services, exceeding the capital expenditure threshold of $2,833,920; obtaining major medical equipment valued at the previous value or more and developing or acquiring new health care facilities.