On the last day of 2012, St. Anthony's Hospital celebrated the opening of a $22 million, three-story clinic for its multi-specialty doctors' group, the Suncoast Medical Clinic.
The St. Petersburg hospital is among many health care providers in Tampa Bay ringing in the new year with plans for expanded services at a time of rapid change in the industry. Hospitals and health care providers are facing increasing pressure to improve quality and cut costs, while still generating healthy operating margins. Here are highlights of what local patients can expect in the coming year:
St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Petersburg
The newly opened 106,000-square-foot Suncoast Medical Clinic building has room for about 50 physicians, a pharmacy and an optical shop. It also features lab and imaging facilities and an urgent-care center. A six-story adjoining garage should open in August.
Suncoast doctors moved a few blocks over from the campus of Bayfront Medical Center after the multi-speciality practice, which has served the community for 60 years, joined St. Anthony's. Physicians will collaborate with the hospital to steer patients needing after-hours care for less serious problems to their new urgent-care clinic, an alternative to a costly visit to the ER.
Tampa General Hospital/University of South Florida
A comprehensive bariatric center is planned in a joint venture between USF and its major teaching hospital. From diet counseling to surgery, the center will offer a full range of weight-loss services, including bariatric surgery for teens that had been unavailable in the Tampa Bay region. Bariatric surgery is among the few interventions proven to help morbidly obese patients lose weight and keep it off, with the power to reverse Type 2 diabetes.
USF also expects in the late winter to finalize plans for Lakeland Regional Medical Center to become the first hospital member of its new health system. The partnership is expected to add 200 additional medical residencies to the more than 700 doctors USF is already training, which will help address statewide concerns about a looming doctor shortage.
Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater
Construction will begin on a $200 million tower to house patient rooms, a surgical center, women's services and orthopedics. The four-story project is expected to add 200,000 square feet when complete in 2016.
Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg
One of the region's last independent hospitals, Bayfront Medical Center, proposes to join Health Management Associates, a for-profit hospital chain. The deal would close in the spring, if approved by the St. Petersburg City Council, which owns the land the hospital sits on.
HMA would acquire an 80 percent interest in Bayfront, which would become the flagship of a network of six other HMA hospitals, including those in Brooksville, Spring Hill and Dade City. To help Bayfront's bottom line, HMA is looking at expanding lucrative services in robotics and the neurosciences.
St. Joseph's Hospitals
The main campus in Tampa is beginning a three-year, $116 million renovation project that will see the opening of an expanded pediatric emergency department in late 2013. The hospital is also creating an integrated Heart Institute for adults and children to open at the end of the year.
In Riverview, construction is under way on St. Joseph's Hospital-South, a $225 million full-service hospital that won't be complete until 2015. But its campus includes a free-standing physician office building expected to open in 2013 with 40,000 square feet for primary care and speciality doctors, as well as imaging and laboratory services.
South Florida Baptist Hospital, Plant City
A $3.9 million renovation of a new medical/surgical unit should be complete in March. Eighteen semiprivate rooms will be turned into 16 more spacious private rooms, each with a family area and private bath and shower.
St. Petersburg General Hospital
A remodeled unit devoted to women's services will open early this year, featuring updated labor and delivery rooms and postpartum recovery suites. The hospital is also expanding surgical services with an emphasis on gynecological robotic procedures.
Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, New Port Richey
Opening in April, a new $20 million surgical center will include six operating suites — some almost double the size of the current facilities — and two endoscopy/procedure suites.
Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville
The new North Tower is scheduled to open Feb. 1, a $50 million expansion adding 70,000 square feet to the hospital. It features 36 private patient rooms, six surgical suites and 18 beds for recovery after surgery, with new registration and waiting areas.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Hudson
Orthopedics is the focus of a new center of excellence to offer a full range of services. The hospital will also be adding the Cardiac CyroAblation Catheter system to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias.
All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg
The pediatric hospital, now part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is recruiting for its first class of Hopkins-affiliated medical residents, who will start training in St. Petersburg in July 2014. The program is seen as central to making All Children's an academic powerhouse in the model of its new Baltimore-based partner.