Not yet finished with a 12-story, $1 billion building project begun in 2004, UK HealthCare on Thursday announced plans for another 12-story tower to replace Good Samaritan Hospital.
The budget for the first tower project has grown from about $400 million to $1 billion, and the completion date has changed from 2009 to beyond 2021. It is now about two-thirds complete, UK HealthCare spokeswoman Kristi Lopez said.
Under the plan announced Thursday, UK HealthCare will knock down part of South Limestone's Good Samaritan, which it purchased in 2007; renovate the remaining space for offices, and build another 12-story tower for patients adjacent to UK Chandler Medical Center.
There was no budget or time line presented for the Good Sam replacement project when the announcement was made during the retreat of the Health Care Committee of the UK Board of Trustees.
Dr. Michael Karpf, vice president for health affairs, said the long-term plan has always been to move patients out of Good Samaritan because the building is outdated and unable to handle the technological needs of a modern hospital. Good Samaritan has 220 beds.
The construction is necessary, although building a hospital in sequential pieces is unusual, Karpf said. He tells people who ask if construction at UK will ever end that the answer is no, he said.
In addition to the hospital building project, UK HealthCare announced a dramatic shift toward expanding outpatient services. It wants to move away from generating the bulk of its revenue from the most complex cases, Karpf said.
Focusing on generating revenue from the sickest patients -- UK health officials call this group the "sweet spot" because it represent the highest level of per patient revenue -- has long been a priority.
The "sweet spot" group is about 5 percent of the total patients served by UK.
But times have changed. Nationally, 85 percent of hospital revenue in the 1990s came from inpatient services. Now, he said, only 40 percent comes from that area.
UK still depends on inpatient services for 68 percent of its revenue, he said, because it lags the national trend of focusing on outpatient services, a shift supported by many tenets of the Affordable Care Act, Josh Lee of Deloitte Consulting said.
This shift comes just three months after UK won state approval to add 120 beds to create a 954-bed campus.
UK HealthCare chief financial officer Murray Clark said UK still needed those beds because of a larger-than-projected influx of patients over the past 10 years. Plus, he said, the state-of-the-art facilities are needed to provide comprehensive care to the 5 percent of patients in the "sweet spot."