Florida officials are finalizing plans for a “super-skilled nursing facility” that will accept COVID-19 patients who don’t require critical medical care.

The 120-bed facility will be in Pinellas County, though more specific details haven’t been released, Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton said July 16.

Last month, only eight COVID-19 patients in Pinellas County needed ventilators, but 54 patients were on ventilators July 15, said Angus Jameson, MD, medical director for Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services. Some hospitals are again halting elective surgeries, Dr. Jameson said.

“Clearly, the healthcare system is stressed at this point from a physical standpoint, but also frankly from a human standpoint,” Dr. Jameson said. “Your healthcare workers are exhausted. They’ve been at this for months. It is incredibly hard to care for patients with COVID.”

Earlier this week, Florida officials said they were focusing on expanding hospital surge capacity rather than building alternate sites to accommodate an overflow of patients due to the hurricane season, according to WUSF Public Media. 

“At this time, mobile field hospitals consisting of tents may not be the best resource to deploy during hurricane season,” Florida Division of Emergency Management communications director Jason Mahon told WUSF. “Instead, our primary support strategy is to surge staff into existing facilities — opening up additional capacity in those hospitals.”


Source:  Becker’s Hospital Review

Architecture and engineering firm Stellar has been selected by Flagler Health+ to design and build a $150 million health and wellness campus in the Durbin Park section of St. Johns County, to be sited between Interstate 95 and State Road 9B.

A recent release from Stellar, based in Jacksonville, said that the firm will be collaborating with Flagler Health+ and University of Florida Health on the project, whose conception entails medical residency programs, a hospital complex as well as educational opportunities for residents and fellows at the campus.  Furthermore, plans for down the road at the facility entail ambulatory medical services.

Architect Gresham Smith will collabrote with Stellar on the five-year, 42-acre buildout project, which is anticipated to break ground sometime this fall and be completed in 2025.

“Stellar is excited to be the design-builder for this innovative new concept in health and wellness,” Richard Lovelace, senior vice president, commercial at Stellar, said in a recent statement.  “After building two Health Villages for Flagler Health+ at Murabella and Nocatee, we are proud to continue our partnership and help bring comprehensive medical care to northern St. Johns County.”


Added Rick Bouchereau, vice president at architectural partner firm Gresham Smith, said in a statement that his firm is “honored to partner with Stellar on this transformative project for Flagler Health+ and this community. Our design for the Durbin Park campus will create a strong sense of place and embody Flagler Health+’s goals for a healthy community.”

Stellar employs nearly 800 professionals in such specialties as architecture, engineering and construction, and the firm specializes in construction management and design-build for projects around the nation.  In addition to healthcare, their portfolio entails construction in the recreation, hospitality, industrial and military sectors.

Healthcare provider Flagler Health+ maintains a healthcare presence specifically in Northeast Florida, inclusive of working with local schoolchidren to educate them about behavioral health.  Flagler Health+ falls under the umbrella of the 130-year-old Flagler Hospital, which is located in St. Augustine.


Source:  HC+O News

Catalyst Healthcare Real Estate has wrapped up construction on a 50,000-square-foot medical office building in St. Cloud, Fla. Anchored by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, the development broke ground in 2019. According to Osceola County records, Ameris Bank provided nearly $10 million in construction financing. Davis Stokes Collaborative served as the project architect.

Located at 1330 Budinger Ave., at the intersection of U.S. Highway 192 and Budinger Avenue, the 84-bed facility is the first multi-specialty medical property developed on the campus of OHSCH, the former St. Cloud Regional Medical Center. Earlier this year, Orlando Health entered into an agreement to become the majority owner of the newly-built asset.

The facility provides patient access point and serves as a walk-in clinic as well. Outpatient services include cardiology, diagnostic imaging, gastroenterology, urology and primary care. Celebration Orthopaedic, Sports Medicine Institute and Eye Florida also lease space at the building, which is some 2 miles from the city center in the Medical Arts District. There are numerous dining and shopping options alongside the highway, including St. Cloud Square.


Source:  CPE

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A new report from BTIG shows that health care REITS are down nearly 26% year-to-date as opposed to the wider REITS sector, which is down about 14%.

The report states that health care “remains a sector of change.”

“The acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to different levels of operating stress across the healthcare system,” the report states…. “Potential disparities in outcomes based on insurance coverage during the pandemic could also lead increased calls for changes to government healthcare programs.”

The same report does show that medical office building REITs have held up pretty well and have been “relatively resilient.”

The report says that since April during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, “outpatient volumes have risen to 69% of pre-COVID levels… Accordingly, our MOB (medical office building) coverage has collected 95% of second quarter rent on average, stability which is reflected in unchanging MOB dividends.”

As it pertains to senior housing trends, BTIG says senior housing facilities and their residents are taking the advice of health experts.

The numbers of seniors in such facilities who have contracted the virus has declined, BTIG says.

“Specifically, for SNR, less than 0.2% of residents and employees are positive for the virus, and the new case rate has declined 91% from peak levels in April,” the report says. “Thus, 90% of SNR properties have begun lifting restriction using a phased approach so that residents can return toward normality and new residents can begin moving in.”

The report concludes: “We expect this same-store operational and occupancy focus to remain at the forefront until REITs’ cost of capital improves enough to return to the acquisition market.”



Source:  GlobeSt.

The city’s oldest and largest hospital, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, is set to be sold to nonprofit health care company Orlando Health, pending a vote by the City Council on July 9.

Community Health Systems Inc., the private company which currently owns the 480-bed facility, announced it had signed an agreement with Orlando Health on Thursday. The news comes about a year after city officials raised concerns about the management of the hospital, which sits on city-owned land and provides care to all, regardless of insurance status.

Orlando Health will take over operations and the long-term lease that Community Health Systems holds with the city, so long as council members approve next month, a news release said. A copy of the proposed lease obtained by the Tampa Bay Times shows it would run for 50 years.

The agreement states Orlando Health must continue to “provide charity care to needy and underserved persons” and “those who may otherwise be unable to afford or obtain care due to various possible adverse circumstances.”

City councilman Robert Blackmon, who was born at Bayfront St. Petersburg, said Friday that continuing the charity care was a “sticking point” in negotiations with Orlando Health. He said he will support the agreement, as did councilwoman Darden Rice.

After a one-on-one conversation with the company’s president and CEO David Strong a couple of months ago, Blackmon said he is confident charity care will continue at the hospital — and be even better under new management.

He pointed to a string of troubles at Bayfront under Community Health Systems, which purchased it in 2013. The hospital has seen layoffs and resignations of top executives, the ending of a partnership with the University of South Florida, and a Department of Justice investigation related to charity care finances in recent years.

Already frustrated, city officials grew more so in early 2019, when then-Bayfront CEO Joe Mullany gave council members a glowing annual report that did not align with problems playing out in public view.

“We’ve had difficult times in the last few years,” Blackmon said. “Orlando Health is the best-situated group to bring (Bayfront) back to the excellence it was once known for.”

Rice called the sale the “only reasonable solution” to the ongoing issues at the hospital.

“Ultimately, the new ownership is what is best for our community,” she said.

The city’s other six council members did not respond to requests for comment Friday. Mayor Rick Kriseman was not available for an interview.

About 15,000 patients were served at Bayfront St. Petersburg in 2018, according to hospital records. As of July 2019, the hospital employed 1,839 people and had 171 open positions.

Officials for Orlando Health declined to be interviewed, instead releasing a statement that said the sale should be final by Sept. 30.

Peter Young, a hospital consultant based in Fort Myers, said Orlando Health, which operates the only Level 1 trauma center in the Orlando area, is in an “expansion moment” of “picking up the skeletal remains” of hospitals in need of rejuvenation.

The purchase of Bayfront St. Petersburg would be the nonprofit’s debut in the Tampa Bay area, and make it so the nonprofit owns 14 total hospitals, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The sale also would mark the second Community Health Systems hospital acquired by Orlando Health, as it purchased Osceola County’s St. Cloud Regional Medical Center in April, the Sentinel reported.

Community Health Systems, based in Tennessee, has sold more than 50 hospitals since 2017 to pay off debt related to its $7.6 billion purchase of Florida’s Health Managed Associates in 2014, according to the National Business Journal.

Bayfront officials declined to be interviewed, and the company released a statement by Sharon Hayes, chief executive officer of the St. Petersburg hospital:

“Orlando Health is well-respected for their work to sustain and enhance medical services, and we are excited to partner with them to benefit our patients and communities,” she wrote. “This is an extraordinary time in health care and together we will continue to provide quality care for our neighbors, friends and family.”


Source:  Tampa Bay Times


AdventHealth plans to build a new facility near its downtown-area campus.

The Altamonte Springs-based nonprofit health system is seeking city of Orlando approval for a 12-story medical office building with a parking garage at a listed address of 225 E. Rollins St.

The project — codenamed “Project Lego” and slated to be built on 15 parcels of land — has not submitted additional project documents with the city of Orlando yet, said city spokeswoman Samantha Holsten.

AdventHealth representatives declined to comment.

The health system is being represented by Orlando-based GrayRobinson law firm for its application seeking site plan approval.

The facility would be built inside AdventHealth Health Village, a 172-acre mixed-use community surrounding AdventHealth’s downtown Orlando campus. The longterm plan for the district includes:

  • Room for up to 800 additional hospital beds
  • 600,000 square feet of medical office space
  • 100,000 square feet of general office space
  • 100,000 square feet of retail space
  • Up to 670 residential units
  • A future hotel

Some of that residential development already has kicked off in the area. Orlando-based Ustler Group of Cos. and Atlanta-based Wood Partners are underway on construction of the 285-unit Alta at Health Village apartment complex at Orange Avenue and Winter Park Street, which is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

Ustler Group of Cos. President Craig Ustler supports having a diverse mix of real estate uses there, because they help enliven the area and add to the hospital’s presence, he told Orlando Business Journal.


Source:  OBJ

Broward Health is poised to expand after purchasing vacant land in Parkland for $14.5 million.

Lucky Land Star Holdings, managed by Agustin Herran in Miami, sold seven acres at the southwest corner of University Drive and Trails End to the North Broward Hospital District, the public body that runs Broward Health.

Herran is part of the family that owns Sedano’s Supermarket. His company acquired the property in deals of $8.8 million in 2012 and $950,000 in 2017.

No development plans have been approved there, but Broward Health could look to build an outpatient center. It has a hospital in neighboring Coral Springs.

“We continuously seek opportunities to expand our services in the communities we care for,” Broward Health President and CEO Gino Santorio said in a statement. “Further development in Parkland allows us to add ancillary offerings that complement the acute care services of Broward Health Coral Springs. We look forward to extending a full continuum of care to Parkland and the surrounding communities.”

The property is about five blocks south of Hillsboro Boulevard. It’s near many wealthy neighborhoods of new homes, several of them 55-plus communities. Attracting more patients on private health plans is financially attractive for most hospitals.

Like all hospitals in South Florida, Broward Health has been dealing with financial losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It would probably take many months to obtain development approvals on this site and break ground, so it won’t need to fund construction for a while.


Source:  SFBJ

Center for Health Performance

A $60 million medical center is planned for Miami Worldcenter, the mixed-use downtown development.

The 100,000-square-foot Center for Health + Performance, or CH+P, will sit on the ground floor of the Legacy Hotel & Residences, according to a release from the tower’s development firm, Royal Palm Companies.

A medical center was planned long before the pandemic, Dan Kodsi, CEO of RPC, said in a statement. But the pandemic is leading to some changes.

The development team is expanding the center’s air purification system and anti-microbial and chemical-resistant surfaces. Think voice-activated elevators, touchless room key access, UV-sterilization wands and robots for common areas — through the building.

Construction will begin on the tower at 942 NE First Ave. in the fall. The tower will have 274 condo units and 256 hotel rooms.

“While it’s been over a year in the making, COVID-19 was the driving force in enhancing some of our features that would allow the hotel to continue operating during any future pandemics,” Kodsi said in an email.

The center will have surgery rooms, capabilities for MRI, CT, mammography, X-Ray, ultrasound scans, on-site pharmacy, on-site laboratory for test results, and on-call doctors, nurses and nutritionists. The healthcare organization that will run the center has not been decided.

“One of the many impacts of COVID-19 will be a more informed and hyper-cautious traveler that will be looking for hotels and vacation homes that prioritizes their health and safety without sacrificing that luxury lifestyle they are accustomed to,” said Stephen Watson, head of medical and wellness projects for RPC.

The Miami Worldcenter is a 27-acre, $5 billion development that broke ground in 2018 with the construction of Paramount Worldcenter. The project includes hotels, condominiums and retail spaces.


Source:  Miami Herald

Baptist Hospital-MOB

Baptist Health South Florida wants to construct a medical office building next to Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

The Miami-based nonprofit merged with BRRH in 2019. The Boca Raton nonprofit already launched a $250 million fundraising campaign to build a patient tower and a 972-space parking garage on its main campus.

The new application, which BRRH recently filed with the city, pertains to the 2.9-acre site at 745 Meadows Road. Located next to the hospital, the property currently has three office buildings for a combined 32,453 square feet. They were built in the early 1970s and would be demolished to make way for a larger office building and a parking garage.

The new office building would total 61,500 square feet in three stories. It would be accompanied by a four-story, 382-space parking garage. According to the application, the building would contain both medical office space and an ambulatory surgery center, which would alleviate demand on the operating rooms in the main hospital.

It would be called the Toby and Leon Cooperman Pavilion. The family recently donated $25 million to BRRH.

Officials at Baptist Health didn’t comment on the pending application. It is working with planning firm Urban Design Studio. The project was designed by Nelson Architecture and Interiors.


Source:  SFBJ

Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa

Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa has broken ground on a new $400 million, 10-story, 498,000-square-foot inpatient surgical hospital at its McKinley Drive campus.

According to a news release, the center estimates that, over the next 10 years, its patient volumes will rise by 65% and cancer surgeries will increase by 33%. The new facility, with 128 inpatient beds and the capacity to expand to 400, will help meet that rapidly growing demand. It will also feature 19 operating rooms, 72 perioperative rooms, three MRI scanners, three CT scanners and two nuclear cameras.

“This new facility will expand our capacity for inpatient hospital care and will modernize our ability to treat and cure cancer,” Moffitt President and COO Jack Kolosky states in the release. “This hospital will increase the power and speed with which Moffitt can translate our discoveries to the benefit of all people. It will blend the most advanced medical and surgical technologies with a patient-centered approach that brings us closer to achieving our vision — to transform cancer care through service, science and partnership.”

The project will also include the construction of a 26,000-square-foot central utility plant of approximately and a three-story parking garage, the release states. It is expected to generate $298 million in construction value within the local economy and employ some 5,500 workers.

“This new hospital will be a place for firsts,” Kolosky states in the release. “New discoveries will be made here. New procedures will be performed. Through this state-of-the-art facility, we will revolutionize the way patient care is delivered at Moffitt.”

Construction is set to begin next month, with a target opening date of July 2023.


Source:  Business Observer