WVU Medicine opposes Mon Health's proposed 29-bed replacement hospital

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Buckhannon, W.Va.-based St. Joseph's Hospital, part of WVU Medicine, has filed an objection to Mon Health's proposed 29-bed replacement hospital, arguing it will result in millions of dollars in lost revenue per year, according to WV News

Morgantown, W.Va.-based Mon Health System said in April it plans to move and build the replacement hospital for Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston, W.Va. 

St. Joseph's said that it is objecting to the location of Mon Health's proposed replacement hospital, rather than the new facility itself. Stonewall's current location is 16.8 miles from St. Joseph's, but the new location is 11.8 miles, according to the report. 

St. Joseph's said that if Mon Health is able to relocate Stonewall Jackson to its proposed site it would lose its designation as a critical access hospital and millions of dollars a year in revenue. This is because to obtain the critical access designation there can't be another hospital within 15 drivable miles under the state's guidelines that take into account the region's mountainous terrain. 

"That's why we're opposing this — because it will impact us," St. Joseph's CEO Skip Gjolberg told WV News. "It will cost us millions of dollars a year in revenue from Medicare and Medicaid. As long as no other hospital comes within 15 miles of us, our critical access status is safe and sound, but if they get closer than that, then we end up losing that status."

Mr. Gjolberg said that St. Joseph's is working to determine the estimated hit from losing the status, but added it is somewhere between $3 million and $4 million per year. 

The objection was filed May 27, and will likely lead to a hearing in September, according to the report. 

WVU Medicine is based in Morgantown, W.Va.

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