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IU Health puts Methodist expansion plans on hold

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Indiana University Health has pressed pause on its plans to build a bed tower at Methodist Hospital that could have cost as much as $500 million.

The tower, scheduled to open in mid-2015, would have added as many as 250 inpatient beds to Methodist. The additional capacity would have allowed Methodist to make all its patient rooms completely private.

IBJ broke the news of the latest effort to build the Methodist bed tower in April 2010.

But, in a letter sent last week, Jim Terwilliger, president of IU Health Methodist Hospital, said the slow economic recovery and the 2010 federal health reform law had prompted IU Health officials to take a “cautious approach.”

“We believed the project would have started by now, but because of several external factors, we have delayed the construction until we can fully ensure the design of the new critical care bed tower will align with the future health care environment,” Terwilliger wrote.

Among those uncertainties is that IU Health has signed up with the federal Medicare program to operate as an accountable care organization. Under that arrangement, future increases in its reimbursement will hinge on its ability to keep patients healthy, or out of the hospital.

Terwilliger’s letter addressed, but did not rule out, the possibility that the tower would be canceled altogether. He said IU Health is performing long-range planning for all three of its downtown Indianapolis hospitals—Methodist, University and Riley Hospital for Children.

“I don’t know what the recommendation will be, but I assure you that our commitment to ensuring IU Health Methodist Hospital continues to serve as a world-renowned critical care hospital for future generations remains strong,” Terwilliger wrote. “At the same time, we understand the difficulties of delivering pre-eminent patient care in an aging facility such as Methodist Hospital."

A $100 million fundraising campaign staged by Methodist Health Foundation will keep the funds it has raised set aside for the Methodist bed tower and for establishing fellowships to attract physicians and nurses. IU Health representatives did not immediately respond to a request asking how much the foundation has raised toward the project.

The bed tower project at Methodist has been discussed since the 1980s and has been formally palnned since 2000, but it has been delayed before because of its high cost.

The project would have also moved 100 psychiatric beds to a different part of Methodist and performed streetscape improvements at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and 18th Street.
 

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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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