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UC Regents approve acute care bed expansion at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is pictured. UCLA Health is set to increase the number of acute care inpatient beds on the fourth floor of the medical center. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Shaun Thomas

May 16, 2024 7:57 p.m.

This post was updated May 19 at 11:19 p.m.

UCLA Health received approval to increase the number of acute care inpatient beds in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, which was agendized Item F1D, the hospital’s fourth-floor behavioral health units will be converted into general medical and surgical acute care spaces. The $169 million project would create 103 inpatient beds across 90 rooms, with the goal of increasing the hospital’s capacity and reducing wait times, according to the proposal. In September, the regents approved $9 million in preliminary funding from the hospital’s reserves.

The UC Board of Regents are currently holding scheduled meetings at UC Merced from Tuesday to Thursday. Item F1D is under consideration specifically by the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee.

According to the proposal, the hospital has been consistently operating above its capacity, ranging from 107% to 112% occupancy in the past 18 months. Transfers to the medical center from other hospitals have now also exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

In 2016, the board approved a proposal for a new 156-bed tower in the hospital complex. In 2020, UCLA Health also acquired the former Olympia Medical Center hospital facility near Little Ethiopia and other surrounding buildings, with plans to renovate it into the new UCLA Neuropsychiatric Replacement Hospital and relocate some of Reagan’s fourth-floor beds there by mid-2026, according to the proposal.

In March, UCLA Health also acquired the UCLA West Valley Medical Center, which is situated in the west San Fernando Valley.

[Related: UCLA Health to acquire West Hills Hospital and Medical Center]

Construction is expected to start in March 2026 and finish by October 2027, according to the proposal.

“The UC Board of Regents has approved funding for renovation in the vacated space,” UCLA Health said in an emailed statement. “This will allow UCLA Health to continue to meet the critical health care needs of our community.”

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