Ascension Saint Thomas can build hospital in Tennessee county, beating out VUMC

Ascension Saint Thomas has won approval to build a hospital in Murfreesboro, Tenn., beating out a proposal from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to The Nashville Post.

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency approved Ascension Saint Thomas's $25 million, 32,000-square-foot facility. The hospital will have an emergency room, eight inpatient beds and medical office space.

Ascension Saint Thomas' proposal was favored over one from VUMC, which included building a facility five times the size in the same area, according to the report. For example, VUMC's proposal called for building a $134 million, 48-bed hospital.

Despite Ascension Saint Thomas winning approval for its microhospital in Murfreesboro, an attorney representing VUMC wrote that the university medical center believes its project can still advance because it would serve a different patient population. 

"VUMC is concerned that Saint Thomas Rutherford may assert that approval of its micro-hospital would eliminate the need for Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital. VUMC strongly disagrees with any such contention — the Saint Thomas Rutherford project will not serve the same patient population nor will it provide the same level of care as VUMC's project," Butler Snow attorney Dan Elrod wrote in a letter to the Tennessee health agency, according to the Post. 

Other hospitals in the Murfreesboro area, including HCA Healthcare's TriStar Stonecrest Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center, had opposed both Ascension Saint Thomas and Vanderbilt University Medical Center's proposals. 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Ascension Saint Thomas are both based in Nashville, Tenn. Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherfood Hospital is in Murfreesboro.

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