Maryland hospital to shut down, be replaced with freestanding facility

Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System plans to close University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, a 47-bed hospital in Cambridge, Md., in 2021 and replace it with a freestanding facility 1 mile away, according to The Daily Record.

University of Maryland Medical System said it conducted more than two years of planning before deciding to shut down Shore Medical Center at Dorchester and replace it with a freestanding facility, called University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Cambridge. The decision was based on input from hundreds of patients, providers, community partners and hospital leadership, according to UMMS.

Under the proposed plan, the new freestanding facility would include an emergency department, behavioral health services and observation rooms. The facility is expected to be completed by summer 2021. At that time, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester would close and 29 of its inpatient beds would be transferred to University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton about 15 miles away.

Once the conversion occurs, patients in need of inpatient care who present at Shore Medical Center at Cambridge will be transferred.

"These patients will be stabilized at UM SMC at Cambridge by emergency physicians and clinical staff and the interfacility call system will be initiated to establish physician to physician communication and to coordinate acceptance and transport of the patient to UM SMC at Easton, another UMMS inpatient facility, or a facility which the patient chooses or meets the patient's specific needs," said UMMS.

Building the new freestanding facility is expected to cost more than $42 million, and it is expected to cost more than $8 million to renovate Shore Medical Center at Easton to accommodate the new inpatient beds, according to the report.

The health system plans to build a separate medical office building adjacent to the new freestanding facility, called the University of Maryland Shore Medical Pavilion at Cambridge. It will offer pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, among other specialties, according to the report. The pavilion will also include an outpatient surgery center with one operating room.

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