Surgery center can't immediately add new specialists: Vermont Supreme Court

Colchester, Vt.-based Green Mountain Surgery Center won't be able to add new specialists without board approval, according to an Oct. 2 ruling from the Vermont Supreme Court.

In 2015, Green Mountain Surgery Center applied for a certificate of need to cover gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology, pain medicine, general surgery and orthopedics, according to court documents. That was granted in 2017.

After the CON was issued, the ASC announced its plans to add additional services to the state's healthcare board, the ruling said. The board denied those, saying the original CON was "limited in scope to the five specialties" in the original application.

The court backed that decision and denied an appeal from the surgery center, documents show.

Green Mountain Surgery Center had planned to add ENT, podiatry, urology and cataract services, according to a report from the Burlington Free Press.

The ruling means it will be five years until the ASC can offer those specialties, Amy Cooper, CEO of Green Mountain Surgery Center, told the Free Press.

Ms. Cooper sent an email to staffers expressing disappointment in the ruling, the report said.

"I'm not surprised, as this was the path of least resistance, but I am disappointed — marginally for us, and mostly for Vermonters who won't benefit from more broadly available high-quality services," she wrote.

The Green Mountain Surgery Center didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full ruling here and the Burlington Free Press report here.

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