Every few years, the state determines how many beds a region needs.
This year, North Carolina has allocated 40 beds for Mecklenburg County. Novant Health and Carolinas Medical Center are battling for those beds.
“We can treat about 34,000 patients and are up to 33,000 already. 12% of our admissions come from the emergency department. That means we need more beds,” said President of Novant Health Medical Center, Tonya Blackmon.
In nearly the last decade, Novant Health has seen a 70% growth in patient care.
“It puts pressure if there is a surgery, and the patient is held longer,” said Novant Dr. Ehab Sharawy.
Novant wants 17 out of the 40 beds for its Huntersville campus.
“If you look at Huntersville’s growth, it has been significant,” said Sharawy.
“We have continued to see an increase in demand at CMC. By their formulas, it is Carolinas Medical Center, which generates the demand for patient beds,” said Spencer Lilly, President, Carolinas Medical Center.
CMC wants all 40 beds for its Mercy and University campuses.
Now that both hospitals have put in their bids for how many beds they want, it’s up to the state department to make that allocation. Now there are several different factors including the population of the county, as well as how many patients each hospital sees, as well as ER visits. The state decision will make that decision next March.
Both hospitals can request for beds every time it’s offered and they’ve received approvals in the past.
“It’s not about money but simply the green light to add more capacity at CMC Mercy and CMC University,” said Scott Rissmiller, Medical Director, Carolinas Medical Center.
State officials say it will take about a year to get the bids fitted at the hospitals after the decision is made in March.