Rural South Carolina hospital fears nearby $325M facility will wipe it out: 5 things to know

The Medical University of South Carolina, based in Charleston, got the greenlight from regulators to build a $325 million hospital in Berkley County — an approval Orangeburg, S.C.-based Regional Medical Center says will threaten its viability as a rural healthcare provider, according to The Times and Democrat.

Here are five things to know:

1. MUSC received approval July 24 to build the $325 million, 311,221-square-foot, 128-bed hospital. The facility is expected to open in 2022.

2. Regional Medical Center argued in a July 13 letter opposing the construction that having a facility in a neighboring county will negatively affect its patient volume. The hospital says it stands to lose about 17,250 patients from its primary and secondary service areas.

3. The loss of patient volume would have "devastating effects" on operations and could result in an annual $8.6 million loss, the July 13 letter states. "RMC cannot absorb a loss of that magnitude and be expected to survive. RMC is already operating at a fiscal year-to-date loss of more than $1.5 million, and it suffered a $7.1 million loss in fiscal year 2017."

4. Despite Regional Medical Center's concerns, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Controls approved MUSC's proposal.

5. Regional Medical Center had until Aug. 8 to challenge the approval but decided not to.

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