Pikeville, Ky. – Pikeville Medical Center has received approval to add more beds to the facility, which will ultimately become a 300-bed hospitable.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has granted Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) a Certificate of Need (CON) for 39 additional acute beds.
A CON is a legal document required in many states, including Kentucky, before proposed acquisitions, expansion or creations of facilities are permitted. Its purpose is aimed at keeping health care costs low while allowing new services and construction.
Twenty-nine beds will be utilized for a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which will be built on the ninth floor of the May Tower. PMC has been forced to turn away critically ill patients because it did not have enough available beds. This means patients must travel for at least an hour and a half to receive critical care services that should be available closer to home.
“It’s not a good plan to put trauma victims or people having heart attacks in an ambulance or in a helicopter and ship them off when they ought to be treated within the first hour, which we call the ‘golden hour,’” said PMC President/CEO Walter E. May.
The remaining beds will be designated for medical patients on the eight floor of the Elliott Building after renovation. Those beds will be able to be converted to ICU beds if necessary in the future. Renovation of the eighth floor is scheduled to begin in July and should be completed by May 2017.
Drawings for the new ICU floor have already been submitted to the state for approval. Construction should begin shortly.
“When this work is completed, we’ll be a 300-bed hospital,” said May.
The CON approval came despite strong opposition from a number of area hospitals, including Tug Valley Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH), Whitesburg ARH and Highlands Regional Medical Center. The University of Kentucky, UK Healthcare also opposed PMC’s plans for growth.
Over the past 91 years, PMC has grown from a rural 50-bed hospital into a 300-bed regional referral center encompassing more than one million square feet on its main campus.