Florida officials have revoked Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s license to operate 50-bed Destin (Fla.) Hospital, forcing the hospital chain to consider reopening the facility as an urgent-care center.
Destin closed in August 1994 after a state investigation discovered that Columbia wasn't operating the hospital as required in its license. For example, state officials determined that Destin's emergency department was not properly staffed (Sept. 5, 1994, p. 6).
As part of a settlement, state officials ordered Columbia to surrender the license or divest the hospital.
After a potential sale fell through with St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Healthcare Management Decisions, Columbia in April asked the state to allow Destin to reopen under its management.
Meanwhile, Destin city officials said they planned to seek out other providers interested in constructing or operating a hospital in the area.
A Columbia official said the company may convert Destin Hospital into an urgent-care center. Columbia operates two hospitals within 30 miles of Destin, a popular beach tourist area in Florida's panhandle.