IHC hospital will take other insurance
July 26, 2006
Intermountain Healthcare plans to build a hospital in Park City but people will not be required to hold health insurance from the company to be treated.
Instead, the hospital plans to accept lots of different health-insurance policies, according to Randy Probst, the hospital administrator for IHC, who is leading the company’s efforts to build a hospital at Quinn’s Junction.
He says that IHC expects to offer contracts to numerous insurance companies under the same terms that will be provided to Select Health, the name that IHC’s insurance arm recently adopted. That is smart, he says, since the hospital is designed to be what he calls a "community hospital."
"The intent is to open it up so the hospital can be used by all insurance companies," Probst says.
He cautions, however, that insurance companies might not choose to enroll themselves into the new hospital, meaning that it will depend on the companies to select whether to allow their policy holders to be treated at the facility. Probst predicts that most insurance companies will be interested in the hospital, though.
"It’s a community hospital and a lot of community members already have established insurance," Probst says.
Recommended Stories For You
Morgan Busch, another IHC executive assigned to the Park City plans, has previously made similar comments in at least one public meeting, when IHC approached the Park City Council regarding the project.
The City Council in June unanimously cast a key vote in favor of annexing about 157 acres of land at the northwest corner of Quinn’s Junction where the developers plan to build the hospital and a headquarters and a training center for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.
The annexation won support from people who were especially happy that it allows the first modern-era hospital to be built in Summit County. Currently, there are several clinics, mostly on the West Side, and the closest hospital is in Heber. Many Parkites travel to the Salt Lake Valley for their medical care.
The supporters argue that, with Summit County’s growing population, now believed to sit in the mid-30,000s, and expanding tourism industry, there is the market for a hospital on the West Side of the county.
They say that the area would be better positioned to treat people injured on the ski slopes or in other sports as well as routine care.
IHC plans to provide an emergency room, operating rooms, patient rooms, among other facilities. The company has said that the hospital would be staffed to treat typical ailments and injuries but not specialties like cardiac surgery.
The City Council approval allows the hospital to occupy 300,000 square feet, although IHC has said it may be decades before the full square footage is constructed. Meanwhile, the approval also allows 150,000 square feet of medical offices. The Ski Team’s offices and training center are expected to occupy an additional 85,000 square feet.
The complex will be one of the largest developments at Quinn’s Junction and City Hall officials were careful as they considered the application. There was concern about the amount of traffic that the hospital will attract and how the facility will look in relation to the rest of Quinn’s Junction, which is now mostly undeveloped.
The Park City Planning Commission, which prior to the City Council vote recommended the land be annexed, is scheduled to visit the site at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Planning Commission is preparing to consider additional applications from IHC that must be approved before construction is allowed to start.
Pat Putt, City Hall’s Planning director, says that the Planning Commission will likely begin its review of the applications in August. The upcoming round of discussions is expected to delve into details like the design of the hospital.
Putt expects that the Planning Commission will cast votes on the new applications in the fall.