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Shuttered NC hospital draws 3 proposals

After a seven-year effort to increase patient volumes, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health closed Franklin Medical Center in Louisburg, N.C., last October. However, the hospital may reopen, as three healthcare organizations have submitted proposals to take over the facility, according to The News & Observer.

Franklin Medical Center has the chance to reopen due to a provision in North Carolina's 2017 budget. Previously, free-standing emergency departments were only allowed to open in counties that had a licensed hospital. Franklin Medical Center was Franklin County's only hospital, which prevented a free-standing ED from being established in the county after the hospital closed. However, the budget permits free-standing EDs to open as long as there is a licensed hospital in an adjoining county.

Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare and Franklin County Healthcare Hospital and Practice Accountable Development Group in Louisburg have all submitted proposals to reopen Franklin Medical Center.

WakeMed would invest nearly $27 million into the facility and open a triage center with laboratory and radiology services. The system also wants to increase the number of mental health beds at the hospital, according to the report.

Duke LifePoint would spend between $22.8 million and $24 million to renovate Franklin Medical Center. The system wants to open an emergency department and provide diagnostic imaging services. It would also add 13 geriatric mental health beds.

Franklin County Healthcare proposed reopening the facility as an acute care hospital.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a proposal by Oct. 24, according to the report.

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