Christ Hospital's dispute with St. Elizabeth Healthcare over $24M ASC may wage on for years

Cincinnati-based Christ Hospital's plans to build a new ASC in Fort Mitchell, Ky., may take years to come to fruition if Edgewood, Ky.-based St. Elizabeth Healthcare is successful in impeding their plans, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the largest employer in Northern Kentucky, claims the ASC is not necessary and will add costs to the healthcare system. St. Elizabeth CEO said in June 2016 that St. Elizabeth may need to lower its $112 million in uncompensated medical care and the community benefits it provides if Christ Hospital opens the ASC.

Mr. Colvin told the Cincinnati Business Courier, "From my perspective, someone coming in and trying to take something that's very profitable and not dealing with all the other issues that come with that kind of responsibility is concerning."

Christ Hospital says the ASC could offer services to residents that are not presently available in Northern Kentucky. An administrative hearing officer heard from both parties during two non-judicial proceedings in Frankfort, Ky. The first took place in August 2016 and the latter earlier this month.

Mark Guilfoyle, JD, an attorney representing St. Elizabeth, told the Cincinnati Business Courier both Christ Hospital and St. Elizabeth are to file briefs, or closing arguments, by April 3, 2017, and the official is set to make a decision within 60 days or no later than June 3, 2017. However, Mr. Guilfoyle said if the official rules in favor of St. Elizabeth, he expects Christ to appeal to Franklin County (Ky.) Circuit Court, and vice versa if the official rules on behalf of Christ Hospital.

If Christ and St. Elizabeth file appeal after appeal, the process could take years before an official reaches a decision.

More articles on surgery centers:
3 legislative changes for ASCs leaders to note — Jan. 20, 2017
Narwhal Capital Management increases AmSurg stake by 2.6% — 3 notes
7 things for ASC leaders to know — Jan. 17, 2017

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