Boston – Today, the Massachusetts Public Health Council unanimously approved a net increase of 94 licensed inpatient beds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) through an amendment to the hospital’s previously approved Determination of Need (DoN) application. These beds will become available gradually with the phased opening of the Phillip and Susan Ragon Building in 2027 and will help alleviate an unprecedented capacity crisis that often results in patients waiting in the Emergency Department—sometimes for days—for a hospital bed.

“Patients are at the center of everything we do throughout all of Mass General Brigham as we work to address the most complex, nuanced health care issues facing the communities we serve,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, president and CEO, Mass General Brigham. “Today’s vote affirms our ongoing commitment to providing the best care possible in the most advanced, therapeutic environments. We thank the Massachusetts Public Health Council for their support in these efforts and for fostering a thoughtful dialogue throughout the application process.” 

In 2022, the DPH partially approved MGH’s DoN application to construct the new Ragon Building on Cambridge St. and conditioned future approval of new inpatient beds on patient need.

“We are deeply grateful to our partners in state government who recognize, as we do, that we are at a critical moment for patients,” said David F.M. Brown, MD, president, academic medical centers, Mass General Brigham. “The capacity crisis is a national issue and as such is felt across Mass General Brigham. Today’s decision will allow for much needed inpatient capacity expansion in the Commonwealth and help our expert clinical teams best care for our patients in environments that promote better healing and respects their dignity.”

The net increase in beds will require no new construction or renovation and no additional staffing or investment. Under the previous agreement, existing beds were slated to move from their current location to the Ragon Building when it opens in 2027. Rather than leave the older spaces empty, the approval allows the hospital to continue using them for patient care.

“Our hospital – and, indeed, the entire Mass General Brigham system – has been working towards addressing the capacity crisis in a variety of creative, thoughtful ways to help patients get where they need to be as quickly as possible,” said Marcela del Carmen, MD, MPH, president of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. “While these efforts have helped, we need to do more and we are extremely appreciative of the Public Health Council and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for empowering us to take critical steps to create more capacity for our patients.”

While many hospitals across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts face capacity constraints, MGH is uniquely challenged amongst its peers because it serves as both an internationally renowned academic medical center that accepts some of the most medically complex patients in the state and simultaneously operates as the community hospital of choice for places like Chelsea, Charlestown, Everett, Revere and large parts of Boston.

Earlier this year, MGH launched a new website for patients to learn more about how the hospital is handling this capacity crisis, with updated information posted regularly.

About Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The Mass General Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with annual research operations of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 9,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. Massachusetts General Hospital is a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system.