State Department of Public Health recommends approval of Children’s Hospital expansion

The Boston Globe | By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey
September 30, 2016

childrensssThe state Department of Public Health is recommending approval of Boston Children’s Hospital’s plan to expand its campus, despite concerns that the move would raise medical costs.

The recommendation from DPH staff goes to the Public Health Council, a body chaired by the commissioner of public health, which is scheduled to vote on the project Oct. 20. The council generally votes in line with the staff’s recommendation.

Children’s, which has the largest market share among pediatric hospitals in the state, has 404 beds on its Longwood campus and is looking to add 71 more. It is planning a $1 billion expansion that includes a new 11-story building on its Longwood campus and an eight-story outpatient clinic in Brookline. Hospital officials say they need the new buildings to meet the demand from growing numbers of patients.

Children’s projects that its new patients will come from other states and from abroad, but the Health Policy Commission, a watchdog agency that monitors health costs, said this week that the expansion would likely draw local patients, increasing Children’s market share and possibly destabilizing other hospitals. That would raise spending because Children’s, ranked among the best pediatric hospitals nationally, has higher prices than its competitors, the commission said.

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