Judge OKs MUSC's $325M hospital as rival systems mull next move

Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina can move forward with its plan to build a $325 million hospital in Berkeley County, a judge from the South Carolina administrative law court has ruled, according to The Post and Courier

MUSC announced plans in 2017 to open a 125-bed hospital in Berkeley County and secured approval for the hospital from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control in 2018. 

Shortly after, two Charleston-based health systems — Roper St. Francis and Trident Health — sued, arguing MUSC's expansion would put them in financial jeopardy and interfere with their plans to expand. According to the complaint filed in 2018, the two hospital groups already obtained permission to build smaller, 50-bed hospitals in the county.

MUSC's proposed expansion has been tied up in court since 2018, and an administrative law trial to resolve the dispute began in November 2019.

A judge, who issued his decision in July, said that MUSC can move forward with the expansion. 

However, MUSC said it is not a guarantee that it can advance just yet.

MUSC told The Post and Courier it "intends to move forward" even as the two rival systems "have made filings suggesting" they plan to keep the proposed expansion locked up in court. 

A spokesperson from Roper told The Post and Courier it has "not decided what our next move is."

MUSC said the expansion is necessary because it will help free up space at its main campus in Charleston, which is overcrowded.


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