Merit Health Plans New Medical Office

By MICHAEL SIMMONS, Madison County Journal

CANTON – Merit Health Madison received approval from the Mississippi State Department of Health last week to move forward with the construction of a $9
million medical office building. The 67-bed hospital previously known as Madison River Oaks received a Certificate of Need (CON) from the state to
construct the building 100 yards from the main hospital.

The building will be approximately 35,704 square feet.

“Hospital-affiliated and non-hospital-affiliated physician practices will execute either leases or subleases for office space in the (medical office building),”
a CON analysis stated. “The applicant expects tenants to include a physical therapy provider and orthopedic with x-ray capability, primary care and
obstetrics/gynecology practices.

“The majority of the physician practices leasing space in the (medical office building) will be those employed by a hospital affiliate and will occupy
approximately 70 percent of the rentable square footage,” it continued.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2016.

According to Merit Health’s CON application, the need for the office building comes from no suitable space near the hospital that could be used as medical
office space.

“Patients in north Madison County are often forced to travel to Jackson in order to visit their physician in his or her office space,” the hospital contends.
“Likewise, patients on the hospital’s medical staff often travel more than 20 miles from their offices to see patients at the hospital.”

Canton Mayor Arnel Bolden said he has been aggressive in expanding healthcare opportunities since partnering with the state to become of of 12 healthcare
priority zones.

“My ultimate goal is to make our city a magnet for many types of healthcare specialties,” he said. “As we continue to expand my hope is we’ll be able to
attract more doctors and expand in terms of the types of medical services we can provide.”

The hospital projects gross patient revenue in the first year to be $187.5 million, with net patient revenue at $33 million. Total expenses, however, including
$12.7 million in salaries, project a first-year loss of nearly $820,000.

By the third year projections show the building no longer yielding a net income loss.