Emory Healthcare and HCA, Nashville, will appeal a court ruling that reversed the certificate-of-need approval for their new hospital in affluent north Fulton County, Ga., a spokeswoman for the two systems said. The court said it was vacating the CON for the proposed 110-bed Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Duluth because it would not serve the same patient base as the two hospitals it is meant to replace -- the shuttered 294-bed West Paces Medical Center and 122-bed Emory Dunwoody Medical Center, both in Atlanta. EHCH, the for-profit joint venture of HCA and not-for-profit Emory, has until next month to appeal the decision by the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Superior Court, said Linda Kirkman, spokeswoman for joint venture. EHCH operates five hospitals.
The state Department of Community Health approved the $93 million hospital in March despite opposition from a coalition of competing hospitals. Two of those competitors, Gwinnett Health System in Lawrenceville, Ga., which is a part of Atlanta-based Promina Health, and St. Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta, sued in their respective county courts. In the St. Joseph's case, a hearing was held in Fulton County (Ga.) Superior Court yesterday, and a ruling is expected on that case by the end of the year.