Piedmont Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte want a judge to order the states health agency to reconsider its decision on who gets to build a Fort Mill hospital.
The two allege that the state Department of Health and Environmental Control didnt follow its owns rules in awarding the hospital to Carolinas HealthCare System.
A hearing on their request is 2 p.m. Monday before an Administrative Law Court judge in Columbia
In their motion, the hospitals say DHEC:
• Did not adequately review applications for the Fort Mill hospital in regards to indigent care.
• Failed to issue a Findings of the Department as required by the certificate of need process.
• Failed to make any findings regarding the quality of health care.
The request is the latest in a series of legal actions over who gets to build a hospital to serve the growing population in northern York County. As early as 1999, Piedmont Medical Center was proposing to build a hospital in Fort Mill.
Carolinas HealthCare Systems, parent company of Carolinas Medical Center, has argued it already serves many of the residents through its Pineville, N.C., hospital and offices in York County.
Presbyterian argued it would bring competition to York County.
Piedmont has argued it is best positioned to serve the residents because it is a local hospital and would be financially harmed if another hospital is chosen to build the Fort Mill facility.
Court actions over a Fort Mill hospital started in 2006 when Presbyterian and Carolinas HealthCare System challenged DHECs decision to award Piedmont Medical Center the certificate of need.
In 2009, an administrative law judge ordered the process be restarted, ruling DHEC misinterpreted the states health plan by limiting its review to hospitals already in South Carolina.
That decision set off another heated competition for the Fort Mill hospital that played out during 2011 with many public meetings, billboards along Interstate 77, and thousands of letters of support for each applicant sent to DHEC.
On Sept. 9, 2011, DHEC awarded the certificate of need to Carolinas HealthCare System, finding its application best met the project review criteria for community need, accessibility, projected revenues, net income, financial feasibility, cost containment, the record of the applicant, and the affects on existing facilities.
DHEC also said awarding the certificate to Presbyterian would adversely affect Piedmont.
Arguments expected to be made Monday appear similar to appeals Presbyterian and Piedmont made to DHECs board shortly after the September decision. They argued DHEC staff made multiple errors in granting the right to build the hospital to Carolinas HealthCare System, which operates Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and several satellite centers in the region.
Their appeals were denied and the hospitals took the next legal step, appealing DHECs decision to the Administrative Law Court. A trial for the appeals has been set for Feb. 4, According to a consent scheduling order, April 15 is the latest the court will release its decision.
Based on their filings with the court, Piedmont and Presbyterian are expected to argue Monday that DHEC did not adequately consider indigent care that each offers. Presbyterians filing noted DHEC did state Presbyterian has the most generous charity care policy.
Their motion for summary judgment also says DHEC did not complete a Section 501 review which is a specific finding required under DHECs rules. The motion also argues DHECs decision did not meet the states certificate of need act because the word quality is not mention in either decision or analysis prepared by DHEC.