Fresno hospital's expansion affected by regulations

FRESNO, Calif.

The 26-year-old Fresno Surgical Hospital near Bullard and HIghway 41 is being made earthquake safe, and a new second floor is being added.

The transformation of the late 1980s building to meet current and mandated industry standards carries a hefty price tag of $21 million.

The hospital is a physician-owned and operated surgical hospital with both in and outpatient care.

The current renovation broke ground in February of last year.

Despite the noise and inconvenience it has continued to serve patients with the expectations it will pay off in the long run.

"In this case the Fresno Surgical Hospital is not in danger of loosing anything, the question is, 'will we be allowed to grow?'" Dr Eric Hanson of the FSH's Board of Managers said.

The physician hospital does not have the same accreditation as general hospitals that treat all kinds of patients, and it has no emergency room, acute bed service or space as non-profit hospitals.

However, if legislation working its way through Congress is adopted that could change, and with that probability a second floor with 26 beds and an intensive care unit was added to the construction project.

"Unfortunately the second story shell we have to wait and see, because we are under the restrictions of physician ownership," Chief Executive Officer Kristine Kassahn said.

Dr. Hanson and his colleagues believe the need here in the Valley will be there sooner rather than later, and that their physician-owned and operated hospital will be prepared to meet the growing needs surgical needs of the Valley's expanding and aging population.

"They're really an essential part of medical care today. They provide some of the highest quality of surgical care in the country," Dr. Hanson said.

Construction is said to be on target for completion in December of this year.

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