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Sacred Heart Reaches Agreement With State On Bed Expansion

February 05, 2012

Spokane, WA—Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center has reached a settlement agreement with the Washington State Department of Health to add 75 adult critical care beds. Granting the Certificate of Need application originally submitted by Providence in October 2008 allows the medical center to meet the urgent need for adult critical care and other specialty beds.

The settlement agreement allows 75 beds to be transferred from Providence Holy Family Hospital to Providence Sacred Heart. There will be no impact on Holy Family’s ability to provide care. The transfer of beds will leave adequate capacity for Holy Family patients now and for the foreseeable future.

As part of the settlement, Sacred Heart and the State have agreed to give Community Health Systems the same flexibility to relocate 75 beds between its Deaconess and Valley hospitals if needed.

“We are pleased with the settlement agreement as it allows us to fulfill our commitment to provide for the health care needs of residents throughout our region, now and into the future,” says Elaine Couture, chief executive, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital. “As the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, it is vitally important for Sacred Heart to have the necessary beds to serve citizens with serious illnesses or injuries from across the Inland Northwest.”

Emergency Department Expansion—the busiest in the city—is another reason Sacred Heart needed the additional critical care beds. The Medical Center also houses the region’s only heart and kidney transplant programs, which also necessitate availability in critical care units.

In addition, the Medical Center's expansion is an essential element in preparation for the planned medical school in Spokane. As the largest medical center between Seattle and Minneapolis, residents throughout the region count on Sacred Heart for highly specialized services requiring specially trained physicians and the latest medical technology.


Background / Timeline

  • October 23, 2008 — CoN application filed with the Department of Health (DOH), requesting 173 additional acute care beds at Sacred Heart (152 adult and 21 intermediate nursery beds).
  • April 2, 2009 — Public Hearing.
  • June 19, 2009 — DOH approved Sacred Heart’s request for 21 intermediate care nursery beds, but did not grant the addition of any new adult acute care beds as part of its long-term expansion.
  • August 18, 2009 — DOH denied Providence’s Request for Reconsideration filed in July.
  • August 23, 2009 — Sacred Heart became the sole Level II Trauma provider in Eastern WA.
  • September 11, 2009 — Sacred Heart takes the next step in the appeal process by filing an application with the DOH for an adjudicative hearing with an administrative law judge.
  • March, 2010 — The DOH and Sacred Heart reach a proposed settlement. In the proposed settlement, Sacred Heart would be approved for 75 additional beds – 50 new beds plus 25 beds transferred from Providence Holy Family Hospital.
  • June, 2010 — Deaconess filed for a proceeding to block the settlement reached between the DOH and Sacred Heart.
  • February, 2011 — A Hearing was held before the DOH Administrative Law Judge.
  • June, 2011 — The Administrative Law Judge reversed the DOH approval of the settlement.
  • February, 2012 — A settlement agreement has been reached by the Department, Sacred Heart and Community Health System; and approved by the Superior Court of Washington, Spokane County.

About Providence Health Care

In Eastern Washington, the Providence Health Care regional network consists of 11 integrated health care organizations working together to provide quality health and human services for Inland Northwest residents. It includes Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital– both nationally recognized for quality care, as well as two critical access hospitals in Colville and Chewelah; and a full continuum of services including home health, assisted living, adult day health, skilled nursing care, Providence Medical Group made up of more than 140 physicians, and PAML medical laboratories.

For more information, visit www.phc.org.