Alabama regulators approved a certificate of need for Trinity Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala., to build a replacement hospital on the site of the former "digital hospital" proposed by HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, before the company’s accounting scandal shelved the project.
Two local competitors, Brookwood Medical Center and four-hospital St. Vincent’s Health System, filed opposition to the certificate when it was before the state Certificate of Need Review Board, according to the board. Brookwood and St. Vincent's have until mid-October to decide whether to appeal the ruling. Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, owns Brookwood. St. Vincent’s is part of Ascension Health, St. Louis. Brookwood won its own certificate of need in July to build a $19 million freestanding emergency room about 3.5 miles away.
If no appeals are filed, construction will begin later this year, according to Trinity, and it should take about two years to complete the hospital. Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., owns Trinity Medical Center. Trinity and a property developer were sued by the city of Irondale, Ala., after Trinity dropped its plan to build the replacement hospital in Irondale. The lawsuit is pending.