Jefferson Healthcare expansion on schedule

Completion expected June 2025

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare’s campus modernization and expansion project is on schedule and on budget, Chief Operating Officer Jacob Davidson told Jefferson Healthcare commissioners.

Demolition of the old 1965 building was nearly complete and debris has separated and removed, he said Wednesday.

A great deal of care had been taken so construction did not impact hospital operations, he added.

“The [asbestos] abatement threw us off a couple of weeks, but we’re still looking at June 2025 [to finish],” Davidson said. “We’ve had a huge team working on ensuring that it doesn’t affect patient care.”

The hospital will add more than 120 parking spots as part of the expansion, but in the meantime eight or nine existing spots have had to be closed off so Abbott Construction can build the additional spaces.

“We’re working really closely with our general contractors trying to figure out how we can ensure that we have ample parking while we’re phasing in those new parking slots,” Davidson said. “Unfortunately you can’t improve parking spaces and use them at the same time.”

For a live action view of the Port Townsend construction site as well as time-lapse video of the entire project go to nyurl.com/45jne2yn/.

Revenue adjustments were higher than expected due to a repayment to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of $1.7 million based on an interim payment report Chief Financial Office Tyler Freeman told commissioners.

“That report was based on mid-year data and our costs were not as high as they as they were at end of year the year,” Freeman said.

Freeman said a final cost report that would be submitted to CMS in April would include a complete financial breakdown of all expenses, revenues and labor and other factors.

That report would provide a more accurate measure of Jefferson Healthcare’s expenses and likely decrease the amount it owed CMS, he said.

Jefferson Healthcare would start expanding its telehealth offerings in the spring Chief Executive Officer Mike Glenn said, and planning to open a new retail pharmacy on site was close to being finalized.

Both initiatives were in response to feedback from patients and providers.

“Whenever we asked how could we served you better, what always makes a short list was, ‘It would be great if we could leave the hospital campus with a prescription that the doctor just gave us,’” Glenn said.

“We’re going to begin providing telemedicine outpatient coverage for some specialties that are difficult to access, focusing initially on rheumatology and neurology.”

Chief Medical Office Joseph Mattern said Jefferson Healthcare’s telemedicine outpatient services would take place at Jefferson Healthcare like a regular physician visit, with vital signs taken by a medical assistant or nurse.

”This is going to be a little more sophisticated than doing a telemedicine visit from your home,” Mattern said.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners unanimously approved the reelections of Jill Buhler Rienstra as president and Marie Dressler as secretary.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at peninsuladailynews.com

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