FRESNO: City To House New Heart Hospital
Vice President and CEO of Community Medical Centers Tony Carr has announced plans to purchase 5.3 acres across from Woodward Park, just behind the River Park Corporate Center for the new Fresno Heart Hospital. The hospital, a joint venture between Community and a group of physician investors, would be the first and only "dedicated free-standing cardiac hospital" in the area. If the purchase is successful, Community and its physician partners will still face other obstacles. The planned 90,000 square foot building, with 60 private patient rooms, three operating rooms, emergency department and inpatient and outpatient cardiac care units, comes with a $60 million price tag, of which only $4.5 million has been raised. In addition to financial concerns, a g overnment warning issued in July about the "legality of joint ventures between hospitals and physicians and whether the partnerships create a conflict of interest when it comes to patient care" may create problems. Carr responded that "community lawyers have carefully structured this new corporate entity within the law." Carr also noted that Community administrators are "working out the details of our financing strategy," which is predicted to include "significant borrowing." Despite competition from rival Saint Agnes Medical Center, Carr maintains, "The race is really with ourselves to beat the schedule we have set to open by Mid-2002" (Correa, Fresno Bee, 10/26).="http:> This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.