HCA Says COVID-19 Won't Impede Promised Projects

Apr 24, 2020

HCA Healthcare’s CEO announced this week that the health system would be limiting its capital projects because of the COVID-19 Health crisis.

“The Company believes the extent of COVID-19’s adverse impact on its operating results and financial condition will be driven by many factors, most of which are beyond the Company’s control and ability to forecast,” states HCA’s first quarter report.

However, a local HCA spokesperson says that the projects promised during the purchase of Mission Health System by HCA in 2019 will not be impacted.

HCA is working on a new hospital in Franklin and a behavioral health hospital in Asheville.

In Franklin, the property for the new hospital was bought in November 2019.  HCA says it is currently in the process of finalizing the design and construction documents, which will be completed by the summer of 2020. Then construction will begin by the end of 2020.

The 120-bed behavioral health hospital in Asheville is still being designed and the budget is being finalized. HCA says both processes will be finished by the end of 2020. HCA adds that it is currently evaluating about 25 acres of land off Crayton Road, near I-40 and Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville for the project.

While HCA says it will honor these commitments, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is still waiting on answers from the healthcare system about billing and quality of care questions which arose after Gibbins Advisor, the independent monitor, visited Western North Carolina.

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, Stein gave HCA more time to provide a response.

"I do not want to get in the way of their focus, in case there is an outbreak in Western North Carolina," says Stein. "I think by the end of the month we should expect a full range of answers unless, of course, if there is a big crisis in Western North Carolina then we would revisit that."