Michelle Willard, Daily News Journal, August 3, 2016
MURFREESBORO — TrustPoint Hospital in Murfreesboro is set to grow to more than 200 beds, with applications pending for a certificate of need from the state and rezoning from the city.
The parent company of the psychiatric hospital in the Gateway has applied with the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency for a certificate of need filed with the state in July that could add 88 beds. Before a health care facility can be built or expanded, its need must be approved by the state.
To house the new beds, the hospital needs to add two buildings and add to its existing facility. And that is contingent on a rezoning request that came before the Murfreesboro Planning Commission on Wednesday night.
The hospital’s parent company asked to rezone 10.3 acres from industrial and residential to medical commercial and Gateway Design Overlay. The property on Thompson Lane, Wilkinson Pike and Van Cleve Lane is directly to the north of its existing facility.
“TrustPoint has nearly 100 percent occupancy currently. … TrustPoint must be expanded to meet the growing needs of our community,” Murfreesboro attorney Bricke Murfree said on behalf of TrustPoint Hospital.
After significant discussion and public comment at the Wednesday night meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended the request for approval subject to staff comments. The rezoning must now be approved by the Murfreesboro City Council on two readings.
Several neighbors spoke out at the meeting in opposition to the expansion, citing drainage problems and negative impacts to Stones River National Battlefield and, mostly, the surrounding residential area.
“It’s simply the size of the development,” said Dr. Mark Freedman, of Van Cleve Lane, about his main concern. He added he fears the new buildings might be “overwhelming to the residential area.”
Others asked how the neighbors will be protected from the hospital’s psychiatric patients.
TrustPoint Administrator Dr. Jeffery Woods spoke about the hospital’s safeguards against patient escapes in an attempt to allay concerns. SEC engineer Matt Taylor explained how the hospital plans to complete improvements to Wilkinson Pike.
Opened in 2012, TrustPoint provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health treatment, acute medical treatment and rehabilitation programs for adults and seniors, as well as outpatient care for patients primarily from Rutherford and Bedford counties, Murfree said.
TrustPoint’s first CON was approved as a 60-bed hospital with nine “medical detox” beds, 24 psychiatric beds and 27 physical rehabilitation beds.
The hospital currently houses 101 psychiatric, medical detox and physical rehabilitation beds. The hospital is approved for more beds, but not all are operational. Three CON expansions have been approved in the past four years; the most recent would have allowed it to expand to 129 beds, with completion set for this summer.
All those beds were not added because the hospital was subsequently purchased by Acadia Healthcare Co. in the spring, according to the CON application. Acadia delayed completing the expansion until a needs assessment of the area was done.
The assessment found a need for more psychiatric beds in Rutherford County. At the meeting, Woods said the hospital turns away on average 200 patients per month because of a lack of space.
If the CON is approved in the fall, TrustPoint could possibly house 217 beds, with a majority of the increase coming in psychiatric beds for adults, children and the elderly.
The new beds will require adding 119,500 square feet in two two-story buildings — a medical office building and new hospital building — and adding more than 3,300 square feet to the existing facility for a cost of more than $57 million, according to the CON application.
Reach Michelle Willard at 615-278-5164, on Twitter @MichWillard or facebook.com/DNJBusiness.