Tribune-Courier General Manager
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has given a green light to Marshall County Hospital’s request to add Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to its array of services. The hospital had applied for a state-required certificate of need last August and learned last week their application had been approved.
CEO David Fuqua said the hospital will begin seeking bids for construction of the 1,200 square foot facility to house the MRI equipment within the next few weeks. He hopes to break ground on the MRI center by June and have it up and operational by the end of the year.
The facility housing the $1.1 million MRI unit will be located near the hospital’s Emergency Department.
Fuqua said the expanding use of MRI technology to diagnose a wider array of medical issues makes it a viable service offering for the hospital.
“The MRI is being used to diagnose so many more things nowadays,” said Fuqua. “Orthopedic, neurological and vascular patients often are referred for the procedure.”
Fuqua said the hospital hopes to retain some of the 2,600 MRI patients from Marshall County who are referred elsewhere each year. He projects the hospital will perform approximately 2,100 MRI procedures in the first year of operation and as many as 2,500 in the second year.
“This will allow for a much more convenient option for patients in Marshall County,” said Fuqua. “It will make it much easier for our physicians to make a referral and get results back in half the time. It will also be much less cumbersome for patients who have in the past had to go to Paducah, Murray or Mayfield for the procedure.”
Marshall County Hospital will initially add two technicians when the facility opens later this year.
Fuqua said he hopes to see the usage increase to the point where additional employees are needed.