Funding Approved for $39.1 Million Expansion and Renovation of Research Belton Hospital

September 17, 2010

Today HCA Midwest Health System announced that funding has been approved for a $39.1 million expansion and renovation of Research Belton Hospital in northern Cass County. The project will include expansion of the hospital’s Emergency and Surgical departments, privatization of inpatient rooms, and construction of a three-story medical office building. This project is also anticipated to bring approximately 49 full-time positions to the hospital.

“We are thrilled to announce this investment in a healthier future for northern Cass and southern Jackson counties including the Belton, Raymore, Peculiar and Grandview areas,” says Todd Krass, chief executive officer of Research Belton Hospital. “This multi-million dollar reinvestment in our hospital comes at a time when tremendous growth in the use of our services has necessitated an expansion to better meet the medical needs of our surrounding communities.”

The proposed project includes more than 37,000 square feet of new construction to expand the first floor of the hospital to accommodate a new Emergency Department and lobby. Emergency Department positions would increase from nine to 15, and Surgical Services would increase from two small operating rooms to three larger ORs. More than 43,000 square feet of the first and second floors of the hospital will be renovated, including addition of a cardiac catheterization lab (pending approval of a certificate of need from the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee), an increase of endoscopy rooms from two to three, relocation of pain management, privatization of medical/surgical acute care beds and renovation of support space. The proposed project also includes the construction of a three-story, 45,498 square foot medical office building with a connector.

“This expansion and renovation of Research Belton Hospital will add to the more than $600 million that HCA Midwest Health System has invested in enhancing and expanding patient services since April 2003,” says Steve Corbeil, president of HCA Midwest Health System. “HCA Midwest is deeply committed to the Kansas City area, and we continue to make significant investments in the healthcare of surrounding communities.”

“This proposal for expansion and renovation of Research Belton Hospital is clearly based on community need,” says Krass. “In the past few years, patient volume at Research Belton Hospital began to reach maximum capacity for a building that was designed more than 20 years ago. The area surrounding the hospital has experienced tremendous growth in population and development in the past few decades, and we must continue to grow with the needs of our patients.”

Growth in Cass County and southern Jackson County is expected to continue to escalate in part due to the planned upgrade of the U.S. Highway 71 corridor to interstate standards by the end of 2012. Once completed, the route between I-435 in Kansas City and Joplin, Mo., is expected to be renamed Interstate 49.

In 2009, the hospital’s Emergency Department utilization rate was 108 percent and the Endoscopy Suites utilization rate was 125 percent. Based on the growing community service area need, Research Belton Hospital anticipates a growth of greater than 20 percent in its emergency visits between 2009 and 2017. Also in 2009, Research Belton Hospital admitted 1,523 patients. This renovation would enable the hospital to move to all private rooms from its current 35 percent private rooms. In addition, the hospital has recruited 20 physicians to the area in the past 5 years and more space is needed to accommodate their practices.

“Leaders from surrounding municipalities and our own patients tell us that they prefer to stay close to home for their healthcare,” says Krass. “This expansion of our services will help ensure that area residents will not have to leave our community for care.” In addition, the renovated space and new medical office building is expected to attract more much-needed physicians to the area.

“Research Belton Hospital has been a very good community asset over the years. The proposed expansion will ensure that health care for our citizens will continue to improve as our population, the technology, and the needs of our communities grow,” says Juan Alonzo, Mayor of the City of Raymore. “We are the fastest growing area in the metropolitan area, and the need for this expansion is critical to the continued well being of the residents of Raymore and northern Cass County. On behalf of the City of Raymore, I thank HCA Midwest for their confidence in our community and for being willing to make these capital investments in our community. I look forward to the continued good relationship between the city and the hospital, and wish HCA Midwest and our hospital the best as we move forward with this project."

“As mayor, and on behalf of the City Council and the citizens of Belton, I would like to express how pleased I am about the planned $39.1 million renovation and expansion project to Research Belton Hospital,” says City of Belton Mayor Jimmy Odom. “The planned improvements will provide a first-class hospital that will provide a “one-stop-shop” for our community for all their healthcare needs.”

Groundbreaking for this project is expected in October 2010, with completion of all project phases anticipated by mid- 2012. The hospital’s Emergency Department and inpatient services will remain fully functional and will operate at full capacity throughout construction. This $39.1 million investment by HCA is expected to be supported with $2.5 million in economic development incentives from the City of Belton and the Missouri Department of Economic Development.