WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — In BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel’s 86 private rooms, patients can use voice-activated Alexa devices to dim the lights, play music, or summon a nurse.
BayCare is equipped with some of today’s most cutting-edge technology. Yet, the company said, its $246 million facility that opened here in March doesn’t provide any health care services beyond what patients could receive at a hospital just 2 miles away.
BayCare Wesley Chapel’s luster as the newest hospital in this fast-growing Tampa suburb of 65,000 people won’t last. Another general hospital is on the way — the third within a five-minute drive.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said Pat Firestone, who works at Macy’s in an upscale shopping area close to the hospitals. “It’s good to know there is a hospital nearby, but I’m not sure all of this is needed, especially when other areas lack any hospitals.”
Wesley Chapel was just one example of a boom in hospital construction across Florida that started almost four year ago, after the state removed the requirement for companies seeking government approval before opening new facilities.
Florida is one state that has abandoned a long-standing regulation designed to keep medical expenses in check. The requirement was used to…