LARGO, MD (WUSA9) - A proposal to shut down the troubled Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly and replace it with a gleaming new half-billion dollar campus in Largo took a major step forward Tuesday after an earlier false-start.
A reviewer for the Maryland Health Care Commission gave a scaled back version of the project a green light, by recommending to full commission to issue a “certificate of need” when the body meets later this month.
A previous application for the certificate of need was rejected by reviewer Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. because the proposed hospital at Largo was too big and too expensive while not focusing strongly enough on out-patient community health care.
The University of Maryland Health System in partnership with current Prince George’s Hospital Center operator Dimensions Health Care scaled back the rejected proposal by trimming “the total project costs from $639,055,000 (excluding the County’s $12.3 million land donation) to $543,000,000; reduced the total construction costs from $284,744,090 to $225,000,000; and reduced the total square footage of the project by approximately 130,000 square feet”, Moffit wrote.
In a memo made public Tuesday, Moffit said there is a “clear and compelling need” for a new anchor hospital in Prince George’s County, in part because county residents “suffer disproportionately from chronic disease and health care disparities”.
A new hospital complex at Largo would be more accessible to people throughout the region because of its proposed proximity to Largo’s metro stop and exits from the Beltway.
The proposed new Prince George’s Hospital Center would replace the existing hospital in Cheverly, which has operated on the site since 1944.
Prince George’s Hospital Center is home to the state’s second-largest trauma center but has been plagued by financial failures and poor management. The hospital has been operating with public subsidies for a decade.