The Mohawk Valley Health System’s certificate of need application to build a hospital in downtown Utica shows some outpatient services remaining at its St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth campuses, and space for the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in the new hospital.

Most of the application is not available to the public, but a few details, including an executive summary, are available on the state Department of Health’s website. The application was filed Nov. 7 and acknowledged by the state Nov. 10.

The summary, though, isn’t a blueprint of how the health system will function once the new hospital opens. When it comes to the health system’s existing campuses, the application is more of a doorstop to keep doors open while the health system figures out what to do with its St. Elizabeth, St. Luke’s and Faxton campuses, officials said.

“Don’t overread it,” advised Robert Scholefield, health system executive vice president and chief operating officer. “It’s just trying to get the application moving forward.”

The certificate of need maintains all health care services currently offered by the health system and doesn’t include any new ones, Scholefield said. “We wanted to make sure that we’re not at this point surrendering our ability to provide outpatient services at any of the campuses because once you surrender that, you can’t get any of that back,” he said.

Among the information provided in the executive summary:

• The new hospital will have eight beds for coronary care, 43 intensive care beds, 23 maternity beds, 232 medical/surgical beds, 8 neonatal intensive care unit beds, 16 pediatric beds and 44 psychiatric beds for a total of 373 beds.

• Another 24 physical medicine and rehabilitation beds will remain in the Center for Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Services on the St. Luke’s Campus, bringing the total number of beds in the health system to 397, down from the 571 beds that currently are licensed, but not fully staffed, in the existing hospitals. Trends in health care call for smaller hospitals because fewer patients are being admitted, and those who are have shorter stays.

• All inpatient services (except the 24 rehab beds) and most outpatient services from St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth will be relocated to the new hospital, which the executive summary calls the Mohawk Valley Health System Campus. St. Elizabeth’s sleep center and non-surgical heart services would remain on the St. Elizabeth Campus, where they currently are delivered in the College of Nursing and another building separate from the main hospital.

Despite what's described in the certificate of need, what actually will happen on the three existing campuses has not been finally determined. That’s why the application is written in a way that will allow the health system to keep some services on its other campuses.

“We have to undergo a reuse study for all three of our campuses,” said President/CEO Scott Perra. “Our working assumption is that we’ll keep the Faxton site, but that may change.”

That study is expected to begin in the second or third quarter of 2018.

The space for the Masonic lab would cost $1.4 million in addition to the $480 million the rest of the hospital is expected to cost. The lab would pay for this construction and sign a lease to pay for maintenance, Perra said. The health system and the lab signed a memorandum of understanding in January to explore closer collaboration and possibly research space in the new hospital.

The summary also notes that the health system still needs to file another certificate of need for the project. That one will be for corporate consolidation to make Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center into one corporation.

It’s not clear yet which will survive and whether its name will continue or be on paper only. The health system also must decide whether it will use one of its existing licenses for the new hospital or operate it under an entirely new license, Perra said. Officials said they’re hoping to file that application by the second half of 2018.

Contact reporter Amy Neff Roth at 315-792-5166 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Roth).