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Central Washington Hospital Plans Expansion in place of Move

Central Washington Hospital, which has the largest trauma center in north-central Washington, will be expanded considerably, and plans to move across the Columbia River have been dropped, officials said.

A move to land near the east end of the U.S. 2 Bridge in Douglas County would cost about $365 million and the hospital can have enough money to spend only $165 million, Chief Financial Officer Steven Jacobs said Monday.

For about five years, authorities have been pondering a major expansion, which would be the fifth since the hospital was built in 1964. The major financial constraint is that more than 65 percent of its revenue is from Medicare and Medicaid, the highest percentage for any hospital with more than 150 beds in the state, and reimbursement under both programs is at or below the cost of treatment, said Jacobs.

Central Washington Hospital has 160 beds.

Consequently, the hospital board voted unanimously Sept. 25 to start planning an expansion with 30 acute-care beds and a refurbish of the 17-acre complex to make all rooms private with an eye to breaking ground in the spring of 2009, hospital President John "Jack" said Evans Jr.



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