State regulators say that Wake County needs more than 100 new hospital beds, setting up a brawl among this region's largest medical providers.
To control health costs, the state puts limits on how many hospital beds are allocated by county each year, based on patient volume, projected population growth and other factors.
The proposed N.C. State Medical Facilities Plan includes 102 additional beds that will be needed in Wake County by 2013. The state's largest metropolitan area, Charlotte's Mecklenburg County, will need 101 beds, the plan states.
Wake's existing hospitals WakeMed, Rex and Duke Raleigh will apply to add the new beds on their campuses or to build new facilities. And outside providers that want to establish a foothold in the fast-growing market also will likely be contenders.