Friends of Prouty Garden calls for 60-day delay in Boston Children’s Hospital expansion vote

Friends of Prouty Garden calls for 60-day delay in Boston Children’s Hospital expansion vote

Group says better, cheaper option available and should be assessed before state approves $1 billion expansion plan

Boston (October 18, 2016) – The Friends of Prouty Garden (FPG) today called on the state to delay a vote on the controversial $1 billion Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) expansion plan to assess a better alternative, the Shattuck Patient Building, that would meet the needs of the hospital and minimize the likely risk of driving up health care costs in Massachusetts.

“The hospital had a plan that would be better for patients, staff, and the pediatric health care community of Boston, and we owe it to all parties involved in this dispute to conduct an independent review of the feasibility of the Shattuck Patient Building option,” said the FPG in a statement.
 
“According to the hospital’s own information, which they have been reluctant to disclose to the public, the Shattuck Patient Building would cost $100 million less than the proposed building to construct, and would require tens of millions of dollars less per year to operate. It would also avoid the need to destroy Prouty Garden, which is an invaluable and irreplaceable resource.” 

FPG called for a 60-day delay in the vote to enable the Public Health Council to appoint a task force to study the Shattuck Patient Building option.

“One incontrovertible fact that has emerged in this debate is that there is no urgent demand to expand BCH, since the number of patients served by the hospital is declining. A delay and thorough review of the Shattuck option is the prudent, responsible step at this point,” the FPG said.
 
“From our initial analysis, the Shattuck Patient Building would meet the hospital’s needs -- to upgrade facilities, expand its capacity to care for patients, and control rising costs.”

The Department of Public Health staff has recommended approval of the hospital’s $1 billion expansion plan but imposed conditions designed to limit cost pressures on patients and insurers. Under those conditions, the state would be required to monitor the project to ensure the costs are not inordinately passed on to Massachusetts patients and payors, or the hospital could be subject to fines.

“The Shattuck option would be preferable for the state and the hospital, without imposing unprecedented, vague conditions that will be impossible to enforce,” FPG said.

The Public Health Council is expected to consider the expansion plan at its October 20 meeting in Boston.

Numerous organizations concerned about rising health costs have objected to the expansion, including the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.

 

Supporters of Prouty Garden will hold a rally outside the State House on Thursday October 20 at 12:30-1:30 P.M. and then march to the PHC hearing.

 

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Statement from the Friends of Prouty Garden: 

We call on the Massachusetts Public Health Council to delay a vote on the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) expansion plan to assess the feasibility of the Shattuck Patient Building, which appears to be a better option for modernization and expansion.
 
The hospital had a plan that would be better for patients, staff, and the pediatric health care community of Boston, and we owe it to all parties involved in this dispute to conduct an independent review of the feasibility of the Shattuck Patient Building option.

According to the hospital’s own information, which they have been reluctant to disclose to the public, the Shattuck Patient Building would cost $100 million less than the proposed building to construct, and would require tens of millions of dollars less per year to operate. It would also avoid the need to destroy Prouty Garden, which is an invaluable and irreplaceable resource.

It's important to note that one incontrovertible fact that has emerged in this debate is that there is no urgent demand to expand BCH, since the number of patients served by the hospital is declining. A delay and thorough review of the Shattuck option is the prudent, responsible step at this point.

From our initial analysis, the Shattuck Patient Building would meet the hospital’s needs -- to upgrade facilities, expand its capacity to care for patients, and control rising costs.

The Shattuck option would be preferable for the state and the hospital, without imposing unprecedented, vague conditions that will be impossible to enforce.