HCA loses AdventHealth CON appeal

A North Carolina administrative judge has upheld the state's decision to award Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth a certificate of need to build a hospital with at least 67 beds in Buncombe County.

Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health, part of HCA Healthcare, had appealed the decision, with the case going to trial almost a year later. 

The decision is a big win for AdventHealth, which aims to curtail Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA's growth in Western North Carolina. AdventHealth has appealed Mission Health's recent CON applications for freestanding emergency departments in the state. 

"AdventHealth joins with the people of Western North Carolina to celebrate this decision and the positive impact this new hospital will have on the area's healthcare," Brandon Nudd, president and CEO of AdventHealth Hendersonville, said in a May 10 news release. "We are excited to reach this point in the work to provide whole-person care to the people of Buncombe, Graham, Madison and Yancey Counties."

In March, AdventHealth purchased more than 30 acres of land in Weaverville, N.C., to be home to the new community hospital. The health system is applying to bring 26 additional beds to the planned hospital for a total of 93 beds. 

HCA said it was "disappointed" in the office of administrative hearings' decision to uphold the awarding of 67 acute care beds to AdventHealth. 

"This will not solve the need to transport high-level, critical care patients out of the area when our region's advanced care beds — only available at Mission Hospital – are full," Nancy Lindell, a spokesperson for Mission Health, said in a statement to Becker's. "Mission Health remains committed to providing the region's most advanced healthcare and will continue to take our community's evolving health needs into account as we look to the future."

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