Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center is planning a $171 million expansion and renovation project.
The plans envision building a new four-story patient tower.
Piedmont will need approval from the state to pursue the project.
“This project is critical to continuing our long tradition of serving our community,” Dr. Charles Peck, president and CEO of Piedmont Athens Regional, said in a statement. “Our goal is not only to improve patient access and care, but to also modernize and improve our hospital campus for our patients, visitors and staff.”
The Atlanta-based Piedmont system has generated a flurry of news recently. Piedmont sued Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia over the insurer’s ER and imaging policies. Piedmont is also in a contract stalemate with Blue Cross, with the current deal running out at the end of the month.
At the beginning of March, Piedmont Healthcare officially added Columbus Regional Health to its system, as part of a continuing program of expansion from metro Atlanta into various other regions of the state. An earlier example of this was Piedmont’s acquisition of Athens Regional Medical Center in autumn 2016.
Proposed construction at the Athens site also will include adding a new patient unit or floor to an existing hospital tower. Patient areas added will replace areas removed during construction, and the hospital’s capacity would remain at 359 beds.
Once approved, construction is estimated to take 3.5 years, with a completion date of August 2022.
“We’re confident that these enhancements will make things better and easier for our patients, we are grateful for the community’s support as we work to meet the needs of our patients,” Peck said.