From today’s Boston Globe:
State tells Children’s Hospital to slow down
State regulators are asking Boston Children’s Hospital to show that its planned $1 billion campus expansion won’t undercut their efforts to restrain growth in health care costs.
In a Feb. 11 letter, the Department of Public Health said Children’s Hospital must provide an independent analysis that demonstrates the project is “consistent with the Commonwealth’s efforts to meet . . . health care cost-containment goals.”
Large hospital construction projects must be approved by the state, but this is only the second time regulators have asked for this sort of cost analysis before making a decision.
At the end of the piece, there’s this:
The hospital’s expansion plans are controversial because they would require building over a beloved garden. A group working to save that green space, called Friends of the Prouty Garden, applauded state officials’ call for more information, because it would delay the project.
“This puts the brakes on the hospital’s apparent game plan to win an immediate approval,” said Gregor McGregor, a lawyer representing the group.
But to the Boston Herald, that’s burying the lede.
State steps into flap over Prouty Garden
To eyeball controversial Children’s expansion
A controversial expansion plan for Boston Children’s Hospital to clear out the facility’s beloved Prouty Garden and make way for new medical space is on hold after the state ordered an independent cost analysis of the project.
The Department of Public Health issued an order Wednesday for Children’s to select a firm or individual — which will require DPH approval — to conduct an analysis of the $1.5 billion expansion that would bulldoze the 23,000-square-foot garden.
“I would say that if Boston Children’s Hospital were planning on a quick approval, this will not be quick,” said Gregor McGregor, an attorney for the group Friends of Prouty Garden, who have advocated to preserve the green space. “It’ll mean the Department of Health will give it close scrutiny.”
In other words: Hold off on the Garden party, but have the balloons ready just in case.