State Sides With Providence In Competition To Build New ER Beds

State Health Commissioner Valerie Davidson is granting Providence Hospital in Anchorage permission to build eight new emergency room beds. That’s fewer than the hospital was hoping for. Providence submitted plans to build 14 new rooms, 10 that would have focused on pediatric patients.

Commissioner Davidson denied Alaska’s Regional Hospital’s proposal to build two freestanding emergency rooms in South Anchorage and Eagle River. They would have been the first freestanding ERs in the state.

In Alaska, hospitals need approval from the state to build big new projects. The idea is to prevent hospitals from building too many facilities and then passing the cost onto consumers. The state had decided Anchorage could support 13 new emergency room beds between now and 2022.

This story is part of a reporting partnership between APRN, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

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Annie Feidt is the Editor and Producer of Alaska News Nightly, and is also a frequent contributor to the show. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49thstate just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie