Hospital plans $99M expansion

10/27/2017

Parkwest Medical Center in West Knoxville plans a $99 million expansion and renovation over the next three years, hospital executives announced.

The medical center, part of Covenant Health’s hospital system, broke ground on the project, which includes both adding on to the existing facility and new construction to give the hospital a “campus-like design,” with more street-level parking.

Highlights of the project include a new patient tower with larger rooms and specialized units for both patients who are admitted and those who are kept in the hospital for observation; adding operating rooms and expanding surgical support space in the hospital’s main surgery area; creating a new, separate entrance for surgical patients; and moving the helipad closer to the Emergency Care Center.

In addition, a clinical observation unit will be created in the hospital’s Montvue Tower especially for medical and surgical patients who are kept in the hospital on “observation” but not admitted as inpatients. Hospital admission status affects how Medicare covers skilled nursing services; “observation,” no matter how long the patient’s actual hospital stay, doesn’t count toward the three-day hospital inpatient stay minimum Medicare requires before it will cover the cost of rehab services in a nursing home or similar center.

The two main phases of the project should be completed in June 2019 and January 2020, said hospital spokeswoman Amanda Paletz.

Competitor hospital system Tennova Healthcare has plans to build a new hospital in West Knoxville, but east of Parkwest, on Middlebrook Pike and Old Weisgarber Road across from the Dowell Springs medical park.

Tennova bought the land in 2014 and 2015 but has yet to break ground on what it said would be a $303.5 million hospital to replace its aging North Knoxville flagship hospital, Physicians Regional Medical Center.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by KRISTI L NELSON

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