Officials with CHI Franciscan Health, which operates Harrison Medical Center’s two campuses, have taken first steps to close the Bremerton site and shift more than 250 beds to the Silverdale site in Kitsap County.
CHI Franciscan Health is seeking approval to close its Harrison Medical Center site in Bremerton and shift more than 250 beds to an expanded site in Silverdale, officials announced Tuesday.
A letter of intent filed with the Washington State Department of Health indicates that the large health system expects to spend $484 million on the project, which is aimed at cutting costs while also expanding services to patients.
“Harrison has been operating two hospitals, which means we have duplications of services, technology and staffing that is financially unsustainable,” Scott Thompson, a spokesman for CHI Franciscan, said in an email.
The letter of intent, submitted Aug. 24, is the first step in the process for filing a certificate of need application, a requirement for the state’s monitoring of the creation or expansion of certain health-care services.
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The Bremerton campus, about 9 miles from the Silverdale site in Kitsap County, does not allow for expansion and is difficult for patients and visitors to reach, with limited parking, Thompson said.
In addition, the infrastructure, including plumbing and electrical systems, is outdated and required seismic upgrades would be expensive.
“The Silverdale campus provides us room to expand, better access for patients and the opportunity to develop a regional health-care hub in Kitsap County,” he added.
Harrison Medical Center is now licensed for 347 beds on two campuses. Bremerton has 253 beds; Silverdale has 94, including 24 neonatal beds. The plan proposes to shift all the Bremerton beds to Silverdale.
The hospital system plans to open an outpatient ambulatory center in Bremerton to serve patients there, Thompson said.
Phase 1 of the project would move 168 beds from Bremerton to Silverdale. Phase 2 would shift the remaining 85 beds. CHI Franciscan expects to submit a full certificate of need application later this year, officials said. Hospital officials anticipate moving patients from Bremerton to Silverdale starting in late 2019 to early 2020.
CHI Franciscan, based in Tacoma, operates eight acute-care hospitals and more than 100 primary and specialty clinics in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties.