Bayhealth announced plans for the construction of a new outpatient center at the intersection of Lewes-Georgetown Highway and Hudson Road near Milton.
The new facility will bring more primary care physicians, specialists, walk-in and emergency care, and diagnostic services to the southern Delaware region. TheDelaware Health Resources Board recently granted Bayhealth preliminary approval to move forward with plans for a combination emergency department and walk-in care center on the 18-acre site.
“We are thrilled to bring life-saving emergency services and walk-in care to this fast-growing community. We believe emergency care will be a great complement to our new outpatient center which will provide a comprehensive array of healthcare services andbring more convenient access to care for residents of Sussex County,” said Bayhealth CEO Terry Murphy.
All patients arriving for walk-in or emergency services at Bayhealth’s new location will receive a medical screening exam to determine their necessary level of care. Only patients who medically qualify as emergency patients will be charged an emergency department rate. Non-emergency cases will be charged as a walk-in clinic visit.
Energency centers are a costly entryway into the health care system. People without insurance coverage often turn to emergency centers when the need for care becomes more urgent.
“Our center near Milton will provide additional options for a growing community to access several important types of care. Primary care, which is in great demand in Delaware, will be available, as well as specialists, extensive testing, and a spectrum of immediate and emergency care. Our focus is providing cost effective services that address the community’s needs,” said Bayhealth Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Gary Siegelman, MD.“This model ensures patients have access to the various levels of care they may need in one location.”
Bayhealth, the state’s second-largest hospital system, has been aggressively expanding to the south with the construction of a new quarter of a billion dollar campus on the south edge of Milford. It is now moving into Coastal Sussex County, an area traditionally served by Beebe Healthcare.
There have been concerns about duplication of services driving up health costs. However, coastal Sussex is a fast-growing area with a high percentage of elderly residents who have moved to the area.
Critics of the state’s medical center permitting process claim a lack of competition among hospital systems in the state contributes to Delaware’s high health care costs. Both ChristiainaCare, the state’s largest hospital system and Bayhealth have dominant market shares in northern and central Delaware respectively
Beebe withdrew an application for a medical campus in Milton, after opposition from residents over the site. Beebe has been expanding into areas west of its hospital in Lewes.