Certificate of Need Denied to The Medical Center

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The Cabinet for Health and Family Services denied The Medical Center's request for additional beds and it's not happy about the decision.

Executives from both Bowling Green hospitals are speaking out about a decision that prevents one of them from expanding.

The Medical Center in Bowling Green was denied a Certificate of Need or a CON for 56 additional beds.

The ruling, released late yesterday, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, was due in part to Greenview Regional Hospital's opposition.

"It's disappointing Greenview is opposing us on this expansion at the time they're reducing their success," said Doris Thomas, vice president of The Medical Center. She aslo said a lot of hard work went into preparing for the hearings in Frankfort.

Chief Executive Officer of Greenview Regional Hospital, Mark Marsh said putting a stop to the hospital's obstetrics unit last September is not the reason for their opposition to The Medical Center's expansion.

"Absolutely not. We are all about expanding and offering more services to the community but we want to make sure there's a justified need," Marsh said.

Last month a two day hearing on the issue was held with the Cabinet For Health and Family Services in Frankfort. Marsh said he feels The Medical Center did not meet the requirements to add 56 acute care beds.

"The state health plan for a hospital of 200 beds or more has to have an occupancy level of 75% or greater, their data does not support that,"
Marsh explained.

Doris Thomas said there are two criteria for meeting the state health plan. One is the 75 percent rule or the other criteria is functional capacity, which means certain times of the year a hospital is at or near capacity.

"We have utilized every square foot we have," Thomas said. He also said The Medical Center feels Greenview Regional Hospital deliberately stepped in their way of expanding their patient care.

"We don't want to hold back progress we're in favor of continued growth in Bowling Green but there has to be a need," Marsh said.

"I don't see we are going to opt out of any services because of this ... we're going to continue to look to meet needs of this community," Thomas said.

Thomas is looking to the future now to improve The Medical Center. The Medical Center plans to explore all options to have the expansion approved including asking the cabinet to reconsider its decision.