FirstHealth Urges Dual Hoke County Plan
Two hospitals are better than one, according to FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
The Pinehurst-based health care network is now proposing that both it and Cape Fear Valley Medical Center move forward with their plans to build hospitals in Hoke County, according to a release from FirstHealth.
"The county continues to grow, the base realignment activities are increasing, but needed health care services are delayed," said Charles T. Frock, CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas. "The state's decision recognizes that Hoke County can support two hospitals, and FirstHealth agrees."
Last month the state approved both health systems' 2010 Certificate of Need (CON) applications to build hospitals in Hoke.
FirstHealth is proposing an agreement between both health systems not to appeal the other's 2010 CON approval or intervene in the 2010 decision. It also proposes that both health systems drop their appeals of the state's 2009 CON decision.
"Our proposal is quite simple," Frock said. "We both move forward without unnecessary delay. We support Cape Fear Valley building its hospital in either Hoke or Cumberland County. It is a better use of our resources to bring both hospitals' services to Hoke County rather than to prolong the process."
At press time, The Pilot was unable to contact Cape Fear Valley.
Hoke County is the largest county in the state without its own hospital. An agreement to drop all appeal options and interventions would mean both heath systems could being planning for the respective facilities.
Frock said FirstHealth initiated discussions with Cape Fear in an effort to work together and come up with a fair collaborative solution.
When competing interests file CON appeals, the building construction phases are delayed until a final decision is rendered. That decision could take three to five years.
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