ORLANDO-The Nemours Foundation, a Jacksonville-based hospital organization supported by a $4-billion Alfred I. DuPont trust fund, faces unexpected opposition from a corporate partner to its planned $300-million children’s hospital, four miles south of Downtown Orlando.

Orlando Regional Healthcare, which has a Downtown campus that includes the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, has filed a formal statement with the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, asking that body to deny Nemours’ application for an operational permit. The ORH statement argues the Nemours Orlando Childrens Hospital would duplicate services not only at its Arnold Palmer Hospital but also at a nearby Florida Children’s Hospital run by Florida Hospital, another competitor.

The ORH statement argues the planned 28-acre, south Orlando Nemours’ class II pediatric hospital would be only four miles from its Downtown medical campus. ORH has partnered with the Nemours Children’s Clinic since 1997. ORH is investing $125 million on new and renovated facilities, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

At the same time that ORH filed its brief, Nemours also filed its first formal application for the new hospital. The 200-page Nemours statement maintains its new facility will not duplicate services at any other metro Orlando hospital.

Nemours disclosed for the first time its facility will have 82 acute-care pediatric beds and 13 neonatal intensive care unit beds. Nemours plans to add 50 pediatric physicians to its Florida staff. The Nemours Children’s Clinic Orlando has 49 pediatric staff doctors.

Nemours chief administrator for Florida Jeff Green estimates it will cost the foundation about $40 million annually to run the new hospital. In its Certificate of Need application, Nemours promised to provide services that other medical facilities are not offering or are not readily available in metro Orlando. Those innovations could include pediatric services in rheumatology, immunology and dermatology and the introduction of robotic-guided surgery.

Besides the $300 million Nemours is budgeting for the new hospital, the foundation also plans a new $90-million children’s clinic on Vineland Road near the planned hospital site, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. Nemours officials say the clinic, unlike the hospital, would not require state approval. The clinic is expected to break ground later this year.

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