Bayhealth plans new facility near Milton

A rendering of the new Bayhealth facility planned for the corner of Lewes-Georgetown Highway and Hudson Road near Milton. (Submitted photo)

MILTON — Bayhealth Medical Center announced plans Monday to build an outpatient care center near Milton.

The facility was approved by the Delaware Health Resources Board, part of the Division of Health and Social Services, and will include both an emergency department and a walk-in care center.

“We believe emergency care will be a great complement to our new outpatient center, which will provide a comprehensive array of healthcare services and bring more convenient access to care for residents of Sussex County,” said Terry Murphy, Bayhealth’s president and CEO in a prepared statement.

Bayhealth estimates the facility will bring between 50 and 75 jobs to the area.

A roughly 40,000-square-foot building is planned for an 18-acre lot at the intersection of Lewes-Georgetown Highway and Hudson Road, which is roughly a five-mile drive from downtown Milton ,about equidistant from Georgetown and Lewes.

“If you were to take a pin and put it right at Hudson Road and Lewes-Georgetown Highway and draw a mile- or two-mile circle around that pin, the number of physician offices, the number of healthcare services is very limited,” Mr. Murphy said.

“It is unmistakable as you drive up and down (the Lewes-Georgetown Highway), the growth that’s occurring,” he said.

This is an area where the population is expanding at a rate “similar to what you would see in Middletown, so there’s a future strong need for services,” he said.

The campus’ 18-acre footprint also gives Bayhealth room to grow its offerings to the area.

“Our center near Milton will provide additional options for a growing community to access several important types of care,” said Dr. Gary Siegelman, Bayhealth’s vice president. “Our focus is providing cost-effective services that address the community’s needs.”

He said the new facility will contain the various levels of care patients may need in a single location.

“Primary care, which is in great demand in Delaware, will be available, as well as specialists, extensive testing, and a spectrum of immediate and emergency care,” Dr. Siegelman said.

“It’s a facility that meets the demands of a growing population, which tends to be a little bit older than the average for the state of Delaware, and we think the physicians and the facilities that we’ll provide to that part of Sussex County will be very well received,” Mr. Murphy said.

Offiicials say all incoming patients will be evaluated to see whether they are having a medical emergency and charged accordingly.

“We actually think this will help reduce healthcare costs,” Mr. Murphy said. “People may come to that facility, but if they’re deemed to have a non-emergency condition by the physicians, they won’t be charged emergency room rates. They would be charged an urgent care rate.”

Mr. Murphy expects the project to be completed within a year or two, although he did not have a firm date.

“We’re moving aggressively to get the project on line. We’re very excited about it and it’s where we’re putting a lot of organizational effort at this point,” he said. “We’re pretty good about holding to our timelines.”