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February 22, 2024

UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital seeks to add 23 beds

Contributed UConn Health's John Dempsey Hospital.

As UConn Health seeks additional financial support from the state, UConn John Dempsey Hospital (JDH) has filed an application to add 23 medical surgical beds. 

The hospital, located in Farmington, filed a Certificate of Need (CON) application dated Feb. 5 that requests approval to add the beds because demand has increased.

According to the application, which is signed by the hospital’s interim CEO Dr. Bruce Liang, demand for medical surgical beds “has grown steadily over the last several years,” as more people seek to be treated in the hospital’s emergency department.

John Dempsey has 234 licensed and staffed beds overall, including 175 adult medical surgical beds. Of those beds, 28 are critical care beds, 20 are maternal health beds, 10 are infant bassinets, 19 are psychiatric beds and 10 are set aside for the state Department of Correction locked unit.

Because of the increase in demand, John Dempsey “consistently operates at inpatient occupancy levels above industry standards, which often limits and impairs its ability to adequately respond to patient need and demand for inpatient admission,” the application states. It adds that the hospital has had more than 80% of its medical surgical beds occupied seven times in the past year.

The total cost of adding the 23 licensed and staffed beds would be $1.1 million, according to the application.

To add the beds, John Dempsey would create a new medical surgical floor in existing space in its Connecticut Tower, in space previously used for that purpose before the hospital opened its University Tower in 2016. 

John Dempsey said all of the capital expense will be used to acquire additional equipment, and that it “strongly believes that the capital expended for these beds will be fully recovered in less than 12 months.”

John Dempsey states that it would add the 23 beds within two months from the date of approval.

The application comes as the University of Connecticut and UConn Health seek additional funding from the state. Liang, who also serves as executive vice president for health affairs at UConn Health and as dean of the UConn School of Medicine, presented testimony on Feb. 20 to the state legislature’s Appropriations Committee about the health system’s financial situation.

He stated that the proposed state budget for fiscal 2025 reduces the appropriation for UConn Health by $45.3 million from the previous fiscal year.

“During this session of the General Assembly, we are seeking an additional $16.9 million,” he said.

He added, “We have internal revenue gains and spending reductions already in place for FY25 but need this additional support from the state to balance the budget.”

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