By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published April 17, 2013
A legal appeal to Summerville Medical Center’s 30-bed expansion plan was abandoned Monday when Roper St. Francis Healthcare withdrew its opposition to Trident Health’s application for a certificate of need.
The withdrawal will allow Trident to move forward with conceptual plans for the Summerville hospital’s expansion while awaiting a certificate of need by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Doug Bowling, chief strategy officer for Roper St. Francis, said the company withdrew its opposition because it was assured the Summerville expansion was not an attempt to stop Roper’s construction of a separate hospital in Berkeley County.
“One of the purposes of our opposition was to make sure that Trident would not use its Summerville project to block a greatly needed Roper St. Francis hospital at Carnes Crossroads which they have agreed not to do,” Bowling said in a statement. “It is our most sincere hope that in turn, Trident and its parent company, HCA, will finally acknowledge the need for the hospital we are planning to build in Berkeley County and allow our project to move forward, just as the state and a judge have said it should.”
Louis Caputo, CEO of Summerville Medical Center, said he thinks the two projects were never linked and said the withdrawal of Roper’s opposition is welcome news. He said he thinks Roper withdrew its opposition because the company realized Summerville’s expansion was independent of the two hospitals approved for Berkeley County.
“This was about Summerville needing, and wanting, to add beds and meet the need that was established in the state health plan,” Caputo said. “I don’t think we will actually receive the certificate of need until October, and in the meantime we will begin planning.”
Summerville Medical Center originally applied for the expansion in 2010.
In 2009, Roper and Trident were each granted certificates of need to build 50-bed hospitals in Berkeley County. Roper planned to transfer beds from its downtown hospital to the Carnes Crossroads area, while Trident wanted to add its beds to an existing emergency medical facility in the county.