CON meeting sees over $300 million approved for projects

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee approved $108.7 million in funding for new projects at one of their six yearly Certificate of Need meetings Monday morning.

Among those new projects were a 72-bed psychiatric hospital in Columbia and a 94-bed assisted living facility in Wildwood in St. Louis County. The psychiatric hospital, proposed by CenterPointe Hospital, is estimated to cost $21.2 million and serve patients in mid-Missouri that have struggled to find adequate psychiatric care in Columbia and the surrounding area. CenterPointe currently has hospitals and clinics in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, as well as an outpatient treatment location in Columbia.

“A lot of patients from Columbia have to go to Kansas City or St. Louis to get inpatient services,” said Azfar Malik, the CEO of CenterPointe Hospital in St. Charles.

The single most expensive new project approved was for the Stonecrest at Wildwood assisted living facility, but it was done with some hesitancy by a few members of the committee. While the $23.2 million facility will focus on offering memory care services to its elderly patient-residents, Derek Hunter and Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, questioned whether or not the St. Louis area would have more beds than it needed if the facility was approved.

A representative of the project noted that most of the beds within the 15-mile radius used in the need formula were north and east of the site of Stonecrest. Due to natural borders like the Missouri River (which has few crossings near Wildwood), the Stonecrest executives projected that many patients within the 15-mile radius, especially in the northern and eastern parts, would continue to go to other facilities with shorter driving times between residence and treatment

Instead, Stonecrest’s representatives said the facility would draw from areas to the South and West, like Pacific, Eureka and Franklin County.

Hunter, an accountant from Springfield, was satisfied with their explanation of that concern, but he also felt that the actual cost of the assisted living facility did not necessarily add up with Stonecrest’s projections. He noted that with a leased property, he expected to see a higher lease expense included somewhere in the application. Stonecrest only projected a lump sum of $1 million for land acquisition.

“I’d like to see people fill out the forms right,” Hunter said, explaining that it was difficult for the committee to determine need and financial viability if the numbers did not add up.

The committee also approved $208.8 million in new costs for existing projects that have already been initially approved. It is a bipartisan committee composed of five gubernatorial appointees, two representatives and two senators.

A full agenda of the meeting can be found here. The committee approved each of piece of new and existing business.