RICHLAND, Wash. -- Kadlec Regional Medical Center has gained approval from the Washington State Department of Health to add 67 inpatient beds to its hospital license. This raises Kadlec's capacity to 337 beds.
Under the approved Certification of Need, Kadlec plans to phase in use of the additional beds over the next few years.
"This is great news for our community," said Kirk Harper, the hospital's chief nursing officer and chief operating officer. "The Tri-Cities continues to experience steady population growth, and achieving this approval from the state is significant. It allows us to grow along with our community and be able to continue to meet health needs well into the future."
Kadlec's acute care bed occupancy rate has been increasing steadily. Coupled with the community's projected population growth of nearly 2% per year for the next seven years, gaining state approval of this expansion is important, according to a news release from the hospital.
"The population growth is driven primarily by growth in the number of residents age 65 years and older which increased, on average, 5% per year from 2010-2015, and is forecasted to grow more than 4% per year from 2015-2020 and 3.7% per year from 2020-2025," the news release says.
Kadlec says the high rate of growth in the number of aging residents is important because this population has a much greater demand for inpatient care. The hospital says the timing of the state's approval is excellent as it comes just before flu season, which is historically a busy time of year.
Kadlec will be able to utilize existing space to allow for the phased-in expansion of bed capacity.
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