MERIDEN — MidState Medical Center has filed an application with the state Office of Health Strategy for a $26.2 million expansion to add operating room space.
The addition would add three operating rooms in anticipation of an increased need for orthopedic and other surgeries.
MidState, which is a part of the Hartford Healthcare network, has seen orthopedic-related surgeries rise sharply over the past few years, from 1,327 in 2016 to a projected 4,163 this year. The increase is the result of recruiting 37 new orthopaedic surgeons, many of whom came on board in 2017, when MidState established the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute.
In its application, filed last week with the Office of Health Strategy, MidState argues that the aging population and obesity trends will lead to more orthopaedic surgeries.
In addition to orthopedic surgeons, 27 other surgeons have joined the staff, significantly increasing the demand for available operating room capacity, according to the state filing, called a certificate of need.
“Given the hospital’s recent and expected growth in surgical cases, the hospital now seeks approval to add three operating rooms at its main campus so that it may appropriately accommodate the current and expected surgical volume,” according to the filing.
The project will include a major renovation of the main operating room corridor. Portable trailers are now used as surgical offices and storage areas.
MidState has undergone significant expansions since opening 20 years ago. As recently as last fall officials said a planned 10,000 square-foot expansion won’t be enough for a campus that is “at critical mass.”
"Capacity has become quite the issue," said Gary Havican, central region president for Hartford HealthCare. "We need to continue to grow and our doctors need to provide services for our patients."
If approved, the expansion and new equipment will be paid for through operating costs, according to the filing.
The certificate of need process begins with a letter of intent. The commission has 90 days to review and decide on the application. In most cases, a public hearing on the application is held halfway through the 90-day certificate of need application process. Commission staff prepare an issues paper, which defines the main areas for discussion at the public hearing.