Battle over building 100-bed hospital in Augusta heads back to Georgia Supreme Court

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A dispute over Augusta (Ga.) University Medical Center's plan to build a 100-bed hospital in Columbia County is headed back to the Georgia Supreme Court, according to the Augusta Chronicle

Doctors Hospital of Augusta, which has been fighting the medical center's  plan since 2014, filed a notice last week that it would ask the Supreme Court to review its lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Community Health for awarding the medical center a certificate of need to build the 100-bed facility. 

This is the second time Doctors Hospital is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to review the case, according to the report. Last December, the state supreme court sent the case back to the Georgia Court of Appeals, which again ruled Aug. 21 in favor of the medical center. 

Plans for a new hospital have been tied up in a legal battle since the Georgia health department  awarded the certificate of need to the medical center in 2014. 

Three Augusta-based hospital systems, including the medical center, Doctors Hospital and University Health Care System, applied for a certificate of need to build 100-bed facilities in Columbia County in 2014.

After reviewing applications, the Georgia health department  awarded the certificate to the medical center, turning down  the other two hospital systems. Doctors Hospital sued over the decision.

Katrina Keefer, CEO of the medical center, told the Chronicle that if the certificate of need is finally awarded, design plans for the facility may need to change.

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