Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Next Neighborhood Meeting for Commercial Area Announced

Charlotte Sun
Miscellaneous Notices

PUBLIC NOTICE A neighborhood meeting will be held on January 10, 2017 at 6 PM at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road, Englewood, FL 34223, to discuss a proposed Village District Pattern Plan (VDPP) for Village D. The subject property for Village D  is a 626.40+/- acre parcel located along the south side of South Tamiami Trail, west of West Villages Parkway, east of Islandwalk, in North Port, Florida. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the community about existing site conditions, upcoming steps in the VDPP process, and to seek their input. This is the third public workshop in a series for this project.

Publish: December 26, 2016
132408  3398680

If you are considering purchasing a home in this community, I can assist you. My services are of no cost to you, and in most every instance, I am even able to save home buyers money.  I do not work for any of the wonderful builders/developers in the West Villages Improvement District, or any others for that matter. My services and information (including the resources provided on all of my websites) are wholly independent of these developers. No other independent professional is more knowledgeable about this community, and enlisting me to assist with your transaction can provide you with a wealth of information as well as saving you money.

Please, check out my Venice area website, and contact me for more information!
Look forward to hearing from you!

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Mobile: 941-539-5771

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sarasota Herald Tribune Reports that Two New Hospitals Have Been Approved for the Venice Area

Great news in the Sarasota Herald Tribune for the West Villages! Choice is a good thing.

Competing proposals from Venice Regional Bayfront Health and Sarasota Memorial Hospital are approved.
By Barbara Peters Smith
Staff WriterFriday

Posted Dec 2, 2016 at 9:48 AM
Updated Dec 2, 2016 at 5:52 PM

SARASOTA COUNTY — In an unexpected twist, state regulators on Friday gave a green light to competing bids to build two new hospitals in Venice, just one exit apart on Interstate 75.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health and Sarasota Memorial Hospital sought permission to develop large health care campuses on parcels of more than 60 acres east of downtown Venice. The two longtime health care providers' battle for the South County patient base goes back to at least October 2012, when Sarasota Memorial first moved to operate an urgent care center on the U.S. 41 Bypass.

If both facilities are built, south Sarasota County residents will enjoy an unprecedented choice between two state-of-the-art facilities — along with new access to maternity care and a community medical clinic for low-income patients at the Sarasota Memorial site. The presence of both hospitals could, in turn, prove a magnet that draws even more retirees to the area. 

The total number of proposed patient beds — 210 for Venice Regional and 110 for Sarasota Memorial — comes close to the 312 now licensed at the 65-year-old hospital on Venice Island. State regulators may have concluded that this lack of a jump in the bed count justifies the close proximity of both providers.

But with the stakes high for dominance in a health care market where the population of Medicare recipients is projected to grow by 25 percent in the next 10 years, Friday's double approval is not necessarily the final word.

Any existing hospital in the area may challenge the state's decision in the next 21 days. A statement Friday from Venice Regional suggested that this privately owned hometown hospital could continue to resist incursion from the larger, nonprofit and public Sarasota Memorial. 

Each argued vigorously against the other's proposal in statements filed with the Florida Agency for Health Care administration, the agency that approved both hospitals' applications. Venice Regional's sister facility, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte, also filed in opposition to Sarasota Memorial's plan. And both new campuses were deemed unnecessary by two HCA hospitals to the south, Englewood Community Hospital and Fawcett Memorial Hospital.

Venice leaders welcomed the state's decision with jubilation.

"They found a way to make it a win-win-win situation," said Mayor John Holic. "We're going to have 300 beds just like we had before, provided neither hospital contests it. Plus we’ll have two new buildings, plus we’ll have a choice."

Holic pointed out that north Sarasota County is served by Sarasota Memorial and Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota, adding that "there's no reason why it can't happen here."
Venice City Council member Rich Cautero agreed, saying his constituents welcomed the potential for competition to improve health care quality while keeping a lid on costs.
"From what I'm hearing, they seem to be very supportive of having two hospitals," Cautero said. "The city has experienced robust growth and that’s expected to continue; there’s certainly enough here to support them both."

A long-running feud

In recent years Venice Regional has been losing patients and doctors to Sarasota Memorial, a trend accelerated after state regulators cited 13 safety and health violations stemming from a large sewage leak in July 2015. Two months later, an overflowing toilet forced an evacuation.

But last summer the state rejected Sarasota Memorial’s initial bid to build a Venice hospital on land it purchased more than 10 years ago, near the Laurel Road exit on I-75, saying the region has too many empty hospital beds already. With its second attempt, the hospital offered to transfer 90 existing licensed beds from its Sarasota location to Venice.

Venice Regional’s proposal also drastically reduces its bed count, from 312 at its existing building to 210. The hospital's parent company has a purchase agreement for 63 acres just southeast of the intersection of Jacaranda Boulevard and East Venice Avenue.

The state agency does not comment on its decisions to license or deny new hospital construction. But its report released Friday indicated acceptance of both hospitals' arguments that demand from Medicare patients in this area will soon outstrip the existing supply of usable beds.

"Current and likely future levels of utilization are better indicators of need than bed-to-population ratios and similar measures," says the analysis by the state's consultant, Bianca Eugene.

Eugene acknowledged Sarasota Memorial's arguments that driving to its main campus poses a hardship for Venice's predominantly older population, that adding additional capacity on that campus is not an option, and that the South County population has an existing and future need for labor and delivery services.

Her report also highlighted Venice Regional's point that its building requires some $65 million in repairs — money that would be better spent on a new facility — and that the hospital's performance quality measures would improve with "the ability to focus on hospital operations in a contemporary standard of care."

Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder said he believed his hospital's offer to shift 90 beds from its main campus to the south helped state regulators solve a "math problem." With Venice Regional also giving up more than 100 beds, he pointed out, the countywide total will actually drop — a reflection that more medical care increasingly happens outside the hospital.

Verinder did not indicate any plans to oppose the state's go-ahead for Venice Regional's new building.

"We’ll go through our analysis on it," he said. "But our initial read is that we think there’s room for two hospitals in Venice. We’ve always believed that, and it doesn’t change our position now."

Approval for both projects, he added, "gives patients a choice based on cost and quality, and we think we’ll do very well on that."

Two hospitals by 2020?

If the state's decision stands, Verinder said, Sarasota Memorial's next step will be designing a hospital in consultation with community members and the medical staff. Construction could start "possibly 12 months from now. I think it would be great if we could open in three years. But this is an asset that’s going to be around for 50-plus years, we hope, so we're going to go about this carefully."

Earlier Friday, Verinder said in a statement addressing North Port city leaders' concerns about the lack of a hospital there that Sarasota Memorial remains "committed to investing in medical services in North Port and continuing to attract physicians to the area, with the goal of opening a hospital there as well. We believe that the establishment of the Laurel Road facility will greatly help in the recruitment of medical staff throughout South County."

Venice Regional also issued a statement thanking Venice residents for their support, but hinting that it may challenge the ruling on Sarasota Memorial.

"We remain concerned about the decision to approve an additional hospital on Laurel Road," the statement said. "We are carefully reviewing the details of the decision now and will explore all of the appeal opportunities available to us."

CEO John McLain said he hopes that Venice Regional can welcome patients in the new location by January 2020.

"In my head I felt like it was obvious we would be approved because of the age of our facility and our need to replace it," he said.

Regarding the potential for a rival hospital just up the interstate, McLain explained that he has reservations about a possible "duplication of services and the excess of beds. It's important at this point to review AHCA’s decision and then decide what’s the right course for us."

Still, he noted, "We both win today. Most importantly, the community of Venice wins."

The plans at a glance

Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Location: Southwest corner of Laurel Road and Interstate 75
Estimated cost: $200-250 million, excluding land
Bed count: 80 for acute care, 10 for maternity, 20 for observation
Emergency treatment rooms: 25
Surgical suites: Four for general surgery, one for cesarean sections
New services: Labor and delivery care, community medical clinic, funding to enhance local transportation options for patients
Argument: Sarasota Memorial's application stressed that its new Venice campus will treat more low-income patients than the private Venice Regional; that it offers maternity care, which is not available in Venice; that a community health clinic would be part of the project; and that Sarasota Memorial's "proven existing quality ratings" would provide a "high quality local market alternative."

Venice Regional Bayfront Health
Location: Jacaranda Boulevard and East Venice Avenue
Estimated cost: $212 million, including land
Bed count: 210
Emergency treatment rooms: 28
Surgical suites: 15 for general surgery, two for endoscopy, two for open-heart surgery
New services: Same complement of services as existing hospital
Argument: Venice Regional CEO John McLain contended that the Jacaranda site is more accessible for Venice residents; that his company pays taxes that the community needs and requires less state Medicaid funding than Sarasota Memorial would; that Sarasota Memorial's proposal would result in a duplication of services and the region does not need maternity care; and that comparisons with Venice Regional's quality of care are based on outdated data.

Link to article and photos here.

Ali H. Johnston, MHA, MBA in Real Estate
Realtor®, Lic. Broker #BK3284964
West Villages Realty LLC
Mobile: 941-460-3179