February 27, 2008
STATE AGENCY RULES ON HCA APPEAL FOR SPRING HILL HOSPITAL
COLUMBIA, Tenn. – The Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA) met today and reversed the initial order issued by Administrative Law Judge Leonard F. Pogue, III, to deny Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) a certificate of need for a 56-bed hospital in Spring Hill.
“We are disappointed with the HSDA’s decision. We are evaluating our options, and will decide whether to take any further action in the next few weeks,” said Robert Otwell, CEO of Maury Regional Hospital (MRH).
MRH and/or Williamson Medical Center (WMC) have the option of appealing the case to Davidson County Chancery Court by filing a petition within 60 days.
During the contested case hearing before Judge Pogue in April 2007, MRH and WMC presented evidence arguing that HCA did not meet the criteria for a certificate of need and that the application presented to the HSDA on July 26, 2006 should be denied. Criteria for a certificate is (1) need, (2) economic feasibility, and (3) contribution to the orderly development of adequate health care facilities and/or services. Following 10 days of expert testimony and cross examination, Judge Pogue stated in his order dated October 15, 2007 that:
“The CON process does not guarantee freedom from any competition, but it does require that new facilities be approved only if there is a genuine need. In recent years, MRH and WMC have made significant capital investments to serve the needs of their service areas, which include Spring Hill. Authorizing construction of a new hospital in Spring Hill before there is a sufficient population to support the need for such a facility would have a severe impact on both MRH and WMC…The proposed (Spring Hill Hospital) will not contribute to the orderly development of adequate and effective health care facilities or services in the community.”
The “significant capital investments”
to which Judge Pogue referred includes Maury Regional
Hospital’s Spring Hill Medical Building, home
to an urgent care clinic, specialty clinic and diagnostic
imaging center as well as a primary care physician practice.
MRH established the facility in 1998 and has continued
to expand services, investing $6.2 million in the community.
“We are grateful for the support that we have received throughout this process,” said Otwell. “Regardless of the final outcome, Maury Regional Hospital will remain focused on providing outstanding clinical care to the residents of southern Middle Tennessee.”