WellStar Could File Lawsuit

WellStar's latest effort to challenge Northside Hospital-Cherokee's relocation efforts may not be its last.

The spokesman for WellStar Health System said the Marietta health care provider is exploring its options after its  on Friday.

"WellStar Health System is disappointed in the Department of Community Health’s (DCH) decision and we are evaluating our options on whether to appeal," Keith Bowermaster said in a statement.

Asked what those options were, Bowermaster said, "WellStar could file a lawsuit in either Cobb or Fulton County Superior Court."

Since last year, WellStar Health System officials have contended that , known as the Certificate of Need program. They have said that Northside's actions and statements have made it clear that the new facility would greatly expand the services currently provided at Northside's present home on .

The Georgia Department of Community Health poked holes in that assertion several times, most recently on Friday when it turned down WellStar's request for an agency review hearing. It was WellStar's last recourse in the process to obtain a final decision from the Department of Community Health.

Northside spokesman Russ Davis has always maintained that the hospital was exempt from a Certificate of Need review because the distance between the proposed site and the current one is less than three miles. And "while the relocated hospital will be state-of-the art, larger, and be located on a campus with ample room for further expansion as the community’s needs grow, the hospital service offerings will not change in connection with the relocation," he said last year.

Bowermaster said "Northside will be held accountable to the community and DCH that they will abide by this requirement and the community should assume that they are simply getting a new, larger building but no new or expanded services."

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Ardea Stokes May 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I wish WellStar would just leave us alone. Enough already. We need the updated facility. It's time to let it go!
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