ASHEVILLE — The nonprofit AdventHealth Hospital System and HCA Healthcare-owned Mission Hospital in Asheville has applied for a certificate of need with the North Carolina Division of Health Services Regulation to build a 67-story community hospital beds.

AdventHealth is proposing to build at the Enka Center near the Smokey Park Highway.

Mission wants to build an extension into its “J Tower” on the hospital’s flagship campus in Asheville, according to spokeswoman Nancy Lindell.

AdventHealth’s proposal not only includes beds, but also emergency, surgical, labor, delivery and support services, according to spokeswoman Victoria Dunkle.

She said the application names the Enka Center near Smokey Park Highway and Sand Hill Road in the Enka/Candler community of Buncombe County as the location of the new hospital.

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If AdventHealth’s certificate of need is approved, it would be an addition to its western North Carolina region, adding to its Hendersonville site and clinical locations.

The proposed new hospital beds are intended to serve Buncombe, Graham, Madison and Yancy counties and other surrounding communities.

Mission’s proposed expansion will include critical care beds and MedSurg beds “to meet growing community needs for complex and specialized care,” Lindell said in an email June 16.

“We are confident that we are the best-located hospital to provide this care because of the exceptional and advanced services we already provide, including trauma care, complex medical/surgical services and specialized pediatric care,” Lindell said.

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She said Mission has capacity constraints for specialist care as it is the only tertiary care centre, trauma center and specialist pediatric hospital in the area.

“By expanding our capacity, we will be better equipped to accept transfers from the region of the most seriously ill patients who need our specialist care,” Lindell said.

According to the 2022 North Carolina State Medical Facilities Plan, the projected need for acute care patient beds in Buncombe, Graham, Madison, and Yancey counties by 2024 is just over 67, which is why AdventHealth asks for this specific number of beds.

Mission currently has 733 acute care beds in Buncombe, according to the plan.

“AdventHealth management has been visiting communities in the service area to obtain feedback and direction from the people this new hospital will serve,” Dunkle said in an email.

“Based on these conversations, demographics, hospital utilization, and land availability, AdventHealth determined that Buncombe County was the most efficient geographic location for the multi-county service area. “

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The details of the application show that the proposed hospital would include:

  • The Baby Place – Labor and Delivery Unit featuring 13 beds and a dedicated Cesarean surgery room.
  • 42 medical-surgical beds.
  • Two intensive care beds.
  • A state-of-the-art surgery room for general and specialty procedures with five procedure rooms.
  • Emergency department with 12 beds.
  • Imaging service.
  • Auxiliary services, including laboratory, pharmacy and hospital therapy.

“In addition to the details of the proposed hospital, the Certificate of Need application includes several letters of support from county commissioners, mayors, health departments, law enforcement, chambers of commerce, health care institutions education, health care providers and economic development agencies,” Dunkel said.

“These application letters represent the voice of the community that will be served by AdventHealth and we are honored to have this support.”

One such letter came from the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and was officially approved on June 7.

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The letter supported a new hospital and specifically named AdventHealth and Novant Health.

He also promoted the idea of ​​creating hospital diversity in Buncombe and not building another facility owned by HCA Healthcare, the largest hospital corporation in WNC and the country.

“This will offer patients and physicians choice for the first time in Buncombe County and provide a much needed service to the growing population of the Buncombe-Graham-Madison-Yancey County service area,” the letter reads.

The AdventHealth System, a nonprofit organization, made $14.9 billion in revenue in 2021, according to financial reports, including $1.5 billion in profit. The company’s revenue increased by 17.9% compared to 2020.

HCA’s revenue in 2021 was more than $58.7 billion, according to company reports, which included profits of nearly $7 billion.

Andrew Jones is a Buncombe County government and health care reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter, 828-226-6203 or [email protected] Help support this type of journalism by subscribing to the Citizen Times.