Trios Health to build new medical office at Southridge

Tri-City HeraldNovember 25, 2013 

Trios Health Southridge campus

Exterior and interior work continues on the 168,000-square-foot Trios Health Southridge campus building in Kennewick.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

— Trios Health’s new Southridge hospital won’t stand alone for long.

The Kennewick Public Hospital District announced Monday that construction will begin soon on a $48.2 million medical office and outpatient services building that will connect to the hospital.

The new building, dubbed Trios Care Center at Southridge, will be 160,000 square feet, just about the size of the 168,000-square-foot hospital currently under construction.

The medical office building, however, will be seven stories, instead of the hospital’s four, said Trios Health CEO Glen Marshall.

The medical office building always has been part of the hospital district’s plans for its 40-acre property near Southridge High School, Marshall said. What has changed is outpatient care, which has become the fastest growing area of the hospital district’s business.

About 65 percent of the district’s current business is outpatient services, Marshall said.

The hospital district board gave the project unanimous approval Monday to move ahead, said Jim Mefford, board president.

The connection between the basement and main floors of the hospital and medical office building is key because of the anticipated back and forth movement of patients and medical staff, Mefford said. The medical office building will have its own separate entrance as well.

Like the hospital, the medical office building will be built and owned by Wisconsin-based C.D. Smith Construction, and leased to the hospital district for about $4 million a year, or about $333,000 a month. Marshall said the final lease price will depend on the project’s actual cost.

The hospital district will have an option to buy the building during years 15 and 20 of the 30-year lease, Marshall said.

The revenue to pay for the lease will come from the business generated at the new building, along with the transfer of leases from other locations, he said.

“This building I suspect will open up 100 percent full,” Marshall said.

Once the office building is complete, Trios Health will have used up about half of its 40 acres. Marshall said there is still room to triple the size of the hospital to 300 beds and to add two other medical office buildings in the future.

Trios Health expects to add some staff with the new building, but exactly how many isn’t known, Marshall said.

Similar to the hospital, much of the construction will be done by local subcontractors, Mefford said.

“It’s going to create some jobs here in the Tri-Cities during construction and after it’s up,” he said.

The hospital is expected to open next spring, with the opening of the medical office building likely in about 15 months. Mefford said that will help make the transition easier for Trios Health.

The new building will be able to house the practices of about 50 physicians on three of its floors, including some physicians who support impatient services at the hospital, Marshall said. About 30 existing physician practices likely will be relocated to the new building, although exactly who is moving has yet to be determined.

It also will be home to two floors of outpatient services including physical therapy, a pharmacy, advanced diagnostic imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and CT scans, and infusion therapy, such as chemotherapy and intravenous antibiotics, Marshall said.

The building also will have room for support services for the hospital, administration and conference rooms, he said.

Officials hope the result will be more efficient for both patients and doctors. For example, if a patient needs lab work done, Marshall said that could be done in the same building, with the results quickly sent to the physician.

“It will allow us to take better care of our patients in a more expedient matter,” he said.

While the focus remains primary care, Marshall said the hospital district continues to add up to 15 doctors a year, as well as add and expand specialty care. That includes interventional cardiology, where Trios Health physicians put stents in the heart of a heart attack patient to open arteries, oncology for the treatment of cancer, and blood disorders and kidney care.

Trios Health also expects to see more out of area patients seeking services because the Southridge campus along Highway 395 and near Interstate 82 makes it a natural place to stop, Marshall said.

The city of Kennewick also has focused on Southridge as the city’s opportunity for growth. New apartment complexes recently opened in the area, and more new homes are under construction there.

Marshall said he expects to see other medical providers expand to the Southridge area in the next five years.

Kadlec Health Systems opened a standalone emergency department — the only one of its kind in Eastern Washington — at Highway 395 and West 19th Avenue, near Southgate Elementary School earlier this year.

w Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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