Baltimore, MD (May 31, 2012) On May 31, the Maryland Health Care Commission granted a Certificate of Need to Holy Cross Hospital that permits the development of an 86-bed general acute care hospital in Germantown, Maryland in upper Montgomery County. The Commission adopted a Recommended Supplemental Decision prepared by Marilyn Moon, Ph.D., Chair of the Commission, which was issued after remand of the Commission's 2011 decision by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
The 2011 decision, which awarded a Certificate of Need for the Germantown hospital and denied the application of Clarksburg Community Hospital, was appealed by the Clarksburg applicant and other entities also related to Adventist HealthCare. The Adventist entities did not appeal the Commission's decision to deny the competing application of Clarksburg Community Hospital, but were successful in alleging that the Commission used population data by zip code that was not in the record when it was closed in September 2010. The Circuit Court ruled that the Adventist entities should be given an opportunity to comment on the population data used in the 2011 decision that was not in the record of the review. The Recommended Supplemental Decision analyzed the comments made by the Adventist entities on that data.
At its May 31 meeting, the Commission heard oral arguments regarding that recommended decision from counsel for Holy Cross Hospital and counsel for entities related to Adventist HealthCare, which had filed exceptions to the Recommended Supplemental Decision.
The Recommended Supplemental Decision, which was adopted by the Commission, concluded that the new hospital will provide inpatient hospital services to the current and growing population of upper Montgomery County and will provide this access at a reasonable cost. In comments at the hearing, Dr. Moon said that "the Germantown hospital is needed, and will improve access to hospital services for residents of Upper Montgomery County." She noted that slightly less than seven percent of the residents in the new Germantown hospital's expected service area travel to the Holy Cross campus in Silver Spring to receive their hospital care. While acknowledging that there were certain miscalculations in the Commission's 2011 decision, she stated that, when the correct information is considered, the proposed hospital meets all of the Commission's regulatory requirements.
The Recommended Supplemental Decision noted that Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring has a strong record in providing quality care, access to care for the indigent, broad community benefits, and efficient and effective management of its hospital operations. It also stated that Holy Cross and its parent, Trinity Health, are financially well positioned to implement this project.
The full text of the Recommended Supplemental Decision can be found at Recommended Supplemental Decision in the Matter of Proposed New Hospitals in Montgomery County - Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring - Docket No. 08-15-2286
About the Maryland Health Care Commission
The Maryland Health Care Commission is a 15-member independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access in a rapidly changing health care environment by providing timely and accurate information on availability, cost, and quality of services to policy makers, purchasers, providers and the public. The 15 Commissioners are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Maryland Senate. The Commission's vision for Maryland is to ensure that informed consumers hold the health care system accountable and have access to affordable and appropriate health care services through programs that serve as models for the nation.
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