Baptist files for certificate of need in Oxford

By The Associated Press

OXFORD — Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi has formally asked the state to approve its new, $250 million regional medical facility to Oxford.

The state of Mississippi requires a certificate of need in a process designed to avoid duplication of health care services and control costs. Proposals are reviewed by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The Oxford Eagle reports the CON application was filed in June.

“We are now awaiting a response from (the Department of Health). The approval process usually takes about four months,” said Melissa C. Wommack, physicians’ relations coordinator for Baptist.

Baptist would have five years from the date it receives its CON to complete the new hospital.

Baptist recently purchased 160 acres in southeast Oxford for the new hospital. The site is just west of the current hospital.

While the new facility will have the same 217 beds the current facility has, at least when it first opens, the hospital’s departments will expand and will be more state-of-the-art.

Baptist will build the hospital with the potential to expand to 290 beds in the future. Applying for more beds is a separate CON process.

If the CON is approved by the end of the year, officials said construction will begin in early 2013 with an estimated two- to three-year construction time.