Women's Surgical Center sues Georgia health department over CON law: 5 key points

The physician-owners of Women's Surgical Center in Cartersville, Ga., are suing the Georgia Department of Community Health, according to the Daily Report.

Here are five things to know about the lawsuit.

1. Lawyers with Goldwater Institute, based in Phoenix, and Atlanta lawyer Glenn Delk have filed the lawsuit for the two physician-owners in the Fulton County Superior Court. The lawsuit names the health department's commissioner and director.

2. The lawsuit alleges the state's CON legislation is unconstitutional and prevents the physicians from adding a second operating room to the center, as well as allowing more physicians to perform cases at the center, according to the report.

3. Hugo D. Ribot Jr., MD, and Malcolm Barfield, DO, opened the Women's Surgical Center in 2010 and attempted to expand in 2014. The CON application for expansion was opposed by Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga., Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga., and Cartersville (Ga.) Medical Center, according to the report.

4.  The Georgia Department of Community Health denied the CON application. The department ruled that Women's Surgical Center and other ambulatory centers in the area were not operating at full capacity, thus defeating the purpose of an expansion.

5. Georgia has had CON legislation since 1979.

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