Planned Marion Hospital Spurs Legal Challenge

Three hospitals in Marion and Citrus counties are challenging a state decision to sign off on a new 66-bed hospital in Marion County, according to documents posted Thursday on the state Division of Administrative Hearings website.

The dispute stems from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s preliminary approval June 1 of a certificate of need for the 66-bed hospital proposed by Munroe Regional Medical Center.

Obtaining certificates of need are a critical regulatory step in building hospitals and other types of health-care facilities.

Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital and Citrus Memorial Hospital filed a challenge to the certificate-of-need decision, contending in part that the approval would lead to an unnecessary duplication of patient beds and services in the area and would result in a loss of patients for the competing hospitals.

The Agency for Health Care Administration on Thursday sent the challenge to the Division of Administrative Hearings, where it will be heard by an administrative law judge.

Source: Health News Florida

2 Rival Healthcare Providers To Build Hospitals In Same Florida City

After a nine-month process, an administrative law judge approved construction proposals from two rival healthcare organizations — clearing the way for both providers to build a hospital in Venice, Fla., according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Here are nine things to know.
1. The law judge approved Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial’s proposal for a 90-bed hospital and Venice Regional Bayfront Health’s proposal for a 210-bed replacement facility.
2. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration previously approved the construction projects for both organizations in December 2016. Less than a month after state approval, both healthcare organizations submitted a challenge against the other’s proposal.
3. The hearing about the projects took place in summer 2017, with weeks of testimony and more than 180 lengthy legal filings from each side. The judge’s ruling ended the nine-month legal battle.
4. In an 89-page order, Judge W. David Watkins upheld the state agency’s decision to approve both applications.
5. In his ruling, Mr. Watkins wrote that Sarasota Memorial’s evidence pointed to a need for the 90-bed hospital “based on the proposed service area’s growing population, SMH’s existing patient base in the proposed service area, and the need to improve geographic and financial access for service area residents who are currently traveling great distances to access inpatient services at the SMH main campus.”
6. Additionally, Mr. Watkins said Venice Regional’s project will allow for additional services in Venice, including a heart valve replacement program and enhanced neurosurgical and stroke care.
7. Both systems released statements about being pleased to move forward with construction.
8. The judge’s decision sends the case back to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration for final approval. The state agency is expected to affirm its earlier approval.
9. The battle between the two systems over care delivery in south Sarasota County has been publicized for more than five years, according to the report. The saga began when Sarasota Memorial moved to open an urgent care facility a mile from Venice Regional.
Source: Becker’s Hospital Review

Public Company Proposes New Hospital In Miami-Dade

under construction

An affiliate of Acadia Healthcare filed a letter of intent with state officials to establish a new hospital in Miami-Dade County.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration received the letter of intent from South Florida Behavioral Health LLC, an affiliate of Franklin, Tennessee-based Acadia Healthcare (Nasdaq: ACHC), for a 104-bed adult inpatient psychiatric hospital. The applicant doesn’t have to specify the location of the hospital within the county until later in the certificate of need application process.
Acadia Healthcare Chief Development Officer Steven T. Davidson, who signed the letter of intent, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The company owns 568 facilities that treat addiction and behavioral health problems in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Its only South Florida location is the Wellness Resource Center in Boca Raton.
Under the certificate of need process, AHCA determines whether there is sufficient demand for a new hospital and whether the applicant has a suitable plan. Acadia Healthcare’s application is due March 8. The agency would issue its decision on June 2.
Source: SFBJ

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