Medical Malls Reflect Health Care Industry's Move from Hospitals

Article excerpt

Excela Health's plans to build medical mall facilities in Unity and Hempfield to offer a variety of outpatient services in one setting are part of a growing trend in the health care industry to move more outpatient services outside the hospital, an industry spokesman said.

There is an effort to bring outpatient care closer to the people, Baumgarten said.

Excela Health last week discussed its plans to build an outpatient medical facility behind Arnold Palmer Motors off Route 30 in Unity, at a site a few miles south of Latrobe Hospital. It is looking at several sites in Hempfield for a medical mall in another location outside its Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, said Michael D. Busch, Excela Health executive vice president and chief operating officer.

The health system likely will build a facility in Unity that ranges from 80,000 to 120,000 square feet, with the cost yet to be determined, Busch said. The facility could be opened by the middle of 2014.

Excela has progressed to the point where it intends to present plans for the project to Unity officials in November, with final approval by the end of the year. The site and building plans must be reviewed by the township planning commission and approved by township supervisors.

Busch said the plans to build a multi-speciality facility in Unity will not have much impact on the services at Latrobe Hospital. It will remain home to the Diagnostic Associates, which moved out of Latrobe's downtown business district in December 2011. The move came at a time when Latrobe's downtown parking garage was closed and parking spaces were at a premium.

"We understand there is a changing nature of the health care industry. We are concerned what potential impact there might be to moving medical offices from downtown Latrobe," said Alexander Graziani, Latrobe city manager. …