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Massachusetts General Hospital plans to build new $1 billion facility


Massachusetts General Hospital announced plans this week to construct a new building on its Boston campus for a price tag of about $1 billion, pending regulatory approval.

The new 12-story building will alleviate capacity challenges and growing demands for services at the renowned teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School, according to an email sent to staff on Tuesday from Dr. Peter Slavin, hospital president, and Dr. Timothy Ferris, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization CEO.

Partners HealthCare, which owns Massachusetts General and is the state’s largest provider, has received scrutiny for its higher-than-average costs for services. In the email, Slavin and Ferris said they are “mindful” that the new project “may raise questions” that the new facility will increase cost of care, but they are “confident” philanthropic funds will pay for most of the project.

The top six floors of the new building will consist of new inpatient units with about 450 single-bed patient rooms. Currently, only 38% of the hospital’s approximately 1,000 beds are in single rooms, which is behind “national peer institutions,” Slavin and Ferris said in the email.

Considering current demands, the preliminary plan is for the new facility to focus on cancer and heart services. Inpatient beds for thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and general medicine may also be included. Beyond new inpatient services, the building will also have dietary, pharmacy and clinical support services.

The hospital is usually just below capacity. The new building will “free up space in existing buildings” part of the hospital campus, which may allow the hospital to increase the number of inpatient behavioral health beds for adults, create inpatient pediatric behavioral health beds and expand the substance use disorder program, Slavin and Ferris said.

The bottom six floors will be underground parking with more than 1,000 spaces.

The new building will be located on current Massachusetts General Hospital buildings that will be removed. The hospital expects the regulatory approval process will take 18 months. Construction will likely begin in 2020 and be complete by 2026.

Partners HealthCare reported $12.1 billion in net patient revenue in fiscal year 2018, an 8% increase compared to fiscal year 2017. The system also reported operating income of $310 million with a 2.3% operating margin for fiscal year 2018.