State puts a hold on plans to open psychiatric units

  • Sun Jul 29th, 2012 2:58pm
  • News

By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer

Proposals to open two new psychiatric units in Everett and Lynnwood have been at least temporarily put on hold over plans for the parent organization of one the two companies to buy the other.

Kirkland-based Fairfax Hospital proposed opening a 30-bed unit next year, leasing space on the Pacific Campus of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. It would spend $3.9 million to upgrade and secure the seventh floor of the hospital building on Providence’s Pacific Campus.

The hospital is a subsidiary of Universal Health Services Inc., based in King of Prussia, Pa.

Ascend Health Corp., based in New York City, announced plans to spend nearly $24 million to open a 75-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital in Lynnwood, with the first 60 beds available for patients next year.

However, the state Department of Health has put those plans on hold, asking for additional information on the proposed business agreement between the parent companies for the two organizations.

“That raises some issues with us,” said Bob Russell, an analyst with the state agency.

“Any change in ownership like that really changes the application. You have new owners.”

Letters have been sent to both organizations asking if the proposals for two psychiatric units will go ahead, he said.

“There’s no sense in us going forward until they advise us what they’re going to do,” Russell said.

The companies have until Aug. 20 to provide the information. The state agency is expected to finish its evaluation of the projects and make its decision on whether to allow either or both to be approved by Oct. 22.

A public hearing was held in Everett on the proposals