Hospitals in Hoke Subject of Public Hearing
FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Cape Fear Valley Health System once again made their cases today to build hospitals in Hoke County.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas, based in Pinehurst, wants to build an eight-bed hospital at a projected cost of $34.1 million, according to state officials. It would be completed in October 2012.
FirstHealth also is seeking permission to build an ambulatory surgery center on the proposed hospital campus. The state denied its application last year.
Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley has asked the state for permission to build a 41-bed hospital on U.S. 401. The health care system also plans to build an imaging center in Hoke and expand its primary care facility in the county.
The projected cost of the new hospital is $92 million, according to state officials. It would open in October 2013.
The N.C. Division of Health Regulation held a public hearing in Raeford on certificate of need applications from both providers. A decision is expected by the end of September.
This is the second round of applications by both health systems to serve Hoke, one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.
Last November, the state approved applications from both health-care providers to build hospitals within 10 miles of each other — FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital would be on U.S. 401 in Raeford, while Cape Fear's would be in Cumberland County near the Hoke County line.
Both health-care systems filed legal appeals seeking to block each other, asserting that the state was wrong in its decision to allow both to build hospitals so close together.
Under the 2009 state medical facilities plan, Cape Fear could not build a hospital in Hoke County, since it is in the same planning region with Moore County. The state later changed the plan to allow health-care providers in both Moore and Cumberland counties to serve Hoke County starting this year.
Cape Fear Valley Medical now wants to build its hospital in Hoke County.
FirstHealth filed its appeal of the state’s decision last year primarily as “a pre-emptive measure.” It said in the appeal that the proposed Cape Fear Valley facility, which would be in western Cumberland County near the Hoke County line, would duplicate services offered by its proposed hospital near Raeford.
Cape Fear Valley Medical argued in its appeal that the FirstHealth facility will not meet the needs of Hoke County residents.
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