VDH approves Bon Secours ER proposal in Hanover, rejects similar HCA project

bonsecours4 scaled

The Bon Secours Chester Emergency Center. The state health department recently approved a request by Bon Secours to establish a similar emergency center in Hanover County. (BizSense file)

The Virginia Department of Health has approved a proposal by Bon Secours to establish a free-standing emergency center in Hanover County, and rejected a similar request by competitor HCA.

The decision gives Bon Secours the state’s blessing for its plans to set up an ER with imaging capabilities at 11400 North Lakeridge Parkway, which is just southeast of Ashland.

State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton’s approval of the Bon Secours project came alongside her rejection of HCA’s proposal for a similar facility that would have been built not far away at 10054 Sliding Hill Road.

Shelton’s decision on the proposals from the competing health systems follows her previous, recent rejection of  HCA’s proposal to build a full-scale hospital on the Sliding Hill Road site.

In a prepared statement Friday, an HCA spokeswoman said the health system was unhappy with the state’s decision and didn’t share any details about what, if anything, HCA might now plan for the Sliding Hill Road site.

“While we respect the Health Commissioner’s decision, we are disappointed in the outcome. As a leading provider of healthcare in central Virginia, we are constantly evaluating gaps in access to care and developing approaches to better meet the needs of the community and our patients,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “We remain committed to serving the greater Richmond community and will follow all required COPN and zoning processes as needed for future opportunities.”

The spokeswoman didn’t comment on whether HCA was currently weighing a court appeal of the state’s rejections of the proposed hospital and emergency center projects.

HCA had previously filed a rezoning application with Hanover County to secure the needed local land-use approval needed for the hospital, as well as medical office buildings and commercial space on the 40-acre Sliding Hill Road site. The spokeswoman didn’t comment on whether the rezoning would still be pursued. HCA had previously indicated it would buy the site but hadn’t acquired the property as of Friday, per online land records.

Hanover County spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment on Friday regarding the state’s decision or whether HCA had pulled its rezoning request. County offices were closed Friday to observe Veterans Day.

hca hanover hospital rendering

A rendering of the hospital that HCA planned on Sliding Hill Road in Hanover. The state in September rejected the health system’s application for the new facility. More recently the state denied HCA’s request for a free-standing emergency room with imaging capabilities on the site. (BizSense file)

Bon Secours, meanwhile, expects to begin construction by the second quarter of 2024 on its $25 million Hanover facility, which is being called the Bon Secours Ashland Emergency and Imaging Center, according to spokeswoman Jenna Green.

The plan is to open the center by the end of 2025.

The 17,000-square-foot facility would feature 10 treatment rooms and a connected imaging center with CT and MRI imaging services, as well as ultrasound and X-ray capabilities.

Bon Secours also plans to spend another $12.5 million to acquire the 17.5-acre project site on North Lakeridge Parkway. The health system has the land under contract, and the deal is expected to be finalized “in the coming months,” according to Green.

The property is currently owned by Craig Realty Group, which had once planned an outlet mall on the surrounding acreage. The land was most recently assessed at $7.3 million, per online Hanover property records.

Bon Secours hasn’t yet officially tapped a general contractor or architecture firm for the project, but Green said discussions were underway.

The land is already zoned for the project, Green said.

The health commissioner’s rulings on both the HCA and Bon Secours proposals were made in late October and had been made publicly available by Friday morning.

The applications for the ER projects, which were specifically seeking permission for new CT and MRI imaging equipment to be operated at the proposed facilities, were filed as part of the state’s certificates of public need (COPN) program. In Virginia, healthcare providers are required to submit applications to the regulatory program to get the state approval needed to operate certain medical equipment and facilities.

In Shelton’s Oct. 27 letter to Bon Secours regarding the approval of its project, she wrote the project was OK’d because it will “increase geographic and financial accessibility in a growing area … particularly in the population segment with higher utilization of imaging services,” in addition to other factors.

The health department determined that Bon Secours patients would benefit from the project because its Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville has seen high demand for its imaging services. The new emergency and imaging center will be an arm of the Mechanicsville hospital.

The HCA project was rejected in part because it was “in a competing cycle with a similar project which was preferred based on the guidance from the Code of Virginia,” Shelton wrote in her Oct. 30 rejection letter to HCA.

HCA, in the health department’s determination, failed to prove its patients needed the additional imaging capacity that would have come with the new facility. The proposed facility would have risen not far from HCA’s existing Hanover Emergency Center at 9275 Chamberlayne Road, which a health department report stated had underutilized imaging services.

“There is no evidence Hanover Emergency Center, which opened in 2014, cannot accommodate (Henrico Doctors’ Hospital’s) existing patient population,” according to the VDH staff report. The HCA emergency center would have been operated as an outpost of Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

The VDH also noted it had already approved imaging equipment for an HCA emergency center planned near Scott’s Addition and expected to open in late 2024.

HCA pitched the Hanover emergency center, which it called the Ashland ER and Imaging Center, as an alternative to its preferred use of the Sliding Hill Road site as a hospital campus. HCA filed its hospital project proposal in January, and the state shot it down in late September.

Bon Secours had initially filed an application for imaging equipment to outfit an emergency center at a different Hanover site at 10080 Lewistown Road. It was able to later line up a deal for the North Lakeridge Parkway site, which was the health system’s preferred location for the project.

bonsecours4 scaled

The Bon Secours Chester Emergency Center. The state health department recently approved a request by Bon Secours to establish a similar emergency center in Hanover County. (BizSense file)

The Virginia Department of Health has approved a proposal by Bon Secours to establish a free-standing emergency center in Hanover County, and rejected a similar request by competitor HCA.

The decision gives Bon Secours the state’s blessing for its plans to set up an ER with imaging capabilities at 11400 North Lakeridge Parkway, which is just southeast of Ashland.

State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton’s approval of the Bon Secours project came alongside her rejection of HCA’s proposal for a similar facility that would have been built not far away at 10054 Sliding Hill Road.

Shelton’s decision on the proposals from the competing health systems follows her previous, recent rejection of  HCA’s proposal to build a full-scale hospital on the Sliding Hill Road site.

In a prepared statement Friday, an HCA spokeswoman said the health system was unhappy with the state’s decision and didn’t share any details about what, if anything, HCA might now plan for the Sliding Hill Road site.

“While we respect the Health Commissioner’s decision, we are disappointed in the outcome. As a leading provider of healthcare in central Virginia, we are constantly evaluating gaps in access to care and developing approaches to better meet the needs of the community and our patients,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “We remain committed to serving the greater Richmond community and will follow all required COPN and zoning processes as needed for future opportunities.”

The spokeswoman didn’t comment on whether HCA was currently weighing a court appeal of the state’s rejections of the proposed hospital and emergency center projects.

HCA had previously filed a rezoning application with Hanover County to secure the needed local land-use approval needed for the hospital, as well as medical office buildings and commercial space on the 40-acre Sliding Hill Road site. The spokeswoman didn’t comment on whether the rezoning would still be pursued. HCA had previously indicated it would buy the site but hadn’t acquired the property as of Friday, per online land records.

Hanover County spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment on Friday regarding the state’s decision or whether HCA had pulled its rezoning request. County offices were closed Friday to observe Veterans Day.

hca hanover hospital rendering

A rendering of the hospital that HCA planned on Sliding Hill Road in Hanover. The state in September rejected the health system’s application for the new facility. More recently the state denied HCA’s request for a free-standing emergency room with imaging capabilities on the site. (BizSense file)

Bon Secours, meanwhile, expects to begin construction by the second quarter of 2024 on its $25 million Hanover facility, which is being called the Bon Secours Ashland Emergency and Imaging Center, according to spokeswoman Jenna Green.

The plan is to open the center by the end of 2025.

The 17,000-square-foot facility would feature 10 treatment rooms and a connected imaging center with CT and MRI imaging services, as well as ultrasound and X-ray capabilities.

Bon Secours also plans to spend another $12.5 million to acquire the 17.5-acre project site on North Lakeridge Parkway. The health system has the land under contract, and the deal is expected to be finalized “in the coming months,” according to Green.

The property is currently owned by Craig Realty Group, which had once planned an outlet mall on the surrounding acreage. The land was most recently assessed at $7.3 million, per online Hanover property records.

Bon Secours hasn’t yet officially tapped a general contractor or architecture firm for the project, but Green said discussions were underway.

The land is already zoned for the project, Green said.

The health commissioner’s rulings on both the HCA and Bon Secours proposals were made in late October and had been made publicly available by Friday morning.

The applications for the ER projects, which were specifically seeking permission for new CT and MRI imaging equipment to be operated at the proposed facilities, were filed as part of the state’s certificates of public need (COPN) program. In Virginia, healthcare providers are required to submit applications to the regulatory program to get the state approval needed to operate certain medical equipment and facilities.

In Shelton’s Oct. 27 letter to Bon Secours regarding the approval of its project, she wrote the project was OK’d because it will “increase geographic and financial accessibility in a growing area … particularly in the population segment with higher utilization of imaging services,” in addition to other factors.

The health department determined that Bon Secours patients would benefit from the project because its Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville has seen high demand for its imaging services. The new emergency and imaging center will be an arm of the Mechanicsville hospital.

The HCA project was rejected in part because it was “in a competing cycle with a similar project which was preferred based on the guidance from the Code of Virginia,” Shelton wrote in her Oct. 30 rejection letter to HCA.

HCA, in the health department’s determination, failed to prove its patients needed the additional imaging capacity that would have come with the new facility. The proposed facility would have risen not far from HCA’s existing Hanover Emergency Center at 9275 Chamberlayne Road, which a health department report stated had underutilized imaging services.

“There is no evidence Hanover Emergency Center, which opened in 2014, cannot accommodate (Henrico Doctors’ Hospital’s) existing patient population,” according to the VDH staff report. The HCA emergency center would have been operated as an outpost of Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

The VDH also noted it had already approved imaging equipment for an HCA emergency center planned near Scott’s Addition and expected to open in late 2024.

HCA pitched the Hanover emergency center, which it called the Ashland ER and Imaging Center, as an alternative to its preferred use of the Sliding Hill Road site as a hospital campus. HCA filed its hospital project proposal in January, and the state shot it down in late September.

Bon Secours had initially filed an application for imaging equipment to outfit an emergency center at a different Hanover site at 10080 Lewistown Road. It was able to later line up a deal for the North Lakeridge Parkway site, which was the health system’s preferred location for the project.

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Polgar Concertado
Polgar Concertado
7 months ago

HCA needs to step up their legal / lobbying team. It feels like Bon Secours has a monopoly on Hanover County. I know HCA has a freestanding ED at 301 & Atlee Road, but still…

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
6 months ago

It’s got to be one of the worst looking new hospital’s I’ve seen. I would have rejected it on those grounds alone.