New Hampshire critical access hospital says nearby urgent care center would cause $3.2M annual loss

Littleton (N.H.) Regional Healthcare seeks to block the opening of a nearby urgent care center, citing potential financial losses for the critical access hospital, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based ConvenientMD Urgent Care, which has locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, plans to open a walk-in clinic about 3 miles from Littleton Regional. But the hospital is fighting the opening, saying a nearby urgent care center would cause Littleton Regional to lose $3.2 million annually, the Union Leader reports. The hospital said the annual loss would be due to reductions in emergency department visits and related ancillary services, loss of primary care visits and "continued and increased losses for the obstetrics and behavioral health services." 

In October, the hospital sued the state health department over the issue. The lawsuit, filed in in Grafton County Superior Court, seeks to vacate a July determination by Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers that the urgent care center facility "will not result in a material adverse impact" on "essential healthcare services" provided by Littleton Regional, according to the Union Leader.  

The newspaper reports that the lawsuit also seeks to block the state from issuing a license to ConvenientMD and claims Mr. Meyers illegally shifted the burden of proof of "material adverse impact" from the state to the hospital. The hospital is asking for a new impact determination.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 4.


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