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Atrium and Novant get approval to add more Charlotte hospital beds

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Charlotte’s two largest hospital systems, Atrium Health and Novant Health, have received state approval to add more hospital beds in Mecklenburg County.

Atrium’s Carolinas Medical Center can add up to 75 beds, regulators with North Carolina’s Division of Health Service Regulation ruled in late March. Novant’s Presbyterian Medical Center received state approval to add 15 beds. Atrium’s hospitals in Pineville and Charlotte's University City area will also grow their bed tally, adding up to 25 and eight beds, respectively.

All of these additional beds will be available in 2023, according to approved timetables included with the state’s decision— except for Carolinas Medical Center, which has until 2027 to add its 75 beds.

Each time a hospital system wants to add bed space in North Carolina, it must apply and receive approval from state health regulators. In each of these instances, the state determined that the expanded number of beds would not “develop more acute care beds than are determined to be needed in Mecklenburg County.”

Meanwhile, Atrium is expected to add a new hospital in Cornelius. The hospital system announced in July 2021 that it had received state approval for the facility, called Atrium Health Lake Norman, after seeking that approval for nearly two years. The new hospital will have 30 beds and two operating rooms and is expected to open in early 2024.

The 160,000-square-foot building will cost approximately $154 million, according to Atrium. It will be constructed at the southwest corner of U.S. 21 and Westmoreland Road. That area was once slated for a massive mixed-use project called Augustalee until it went into foreclosure in 2009.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.