Adventist HealthCare on Thursday filed exceptions to a recommendation that favors a Holy Cross Hospital plan to build a new upcounty hospital in Germantown over Adventist's plan for a new hospital in Clarksburg.
In the 105-page filing, Adventist said that the Dec. 17 recommendation by Maryland Health Care Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Moon was "flawed."
The recommendation does not follow state policy on establishing satellite hospitals, was based on "evidence that was not in the record" and does not address the issue of overlapping coverage provided by existing area hospitals, Adventist argued.
The Rockville-based nonprofit health care network also disputed the recommendation’s assessment that a Germantown hospital would reduce hospital travel time and that the Holy Cross hospital would cost less, saying the Clarksburg hospital would be substantially more affordable.
Holy Cross’s proposal includes a $202 million, 93-bed hospital on Montgomery College's Germantown campus, compared to Adventist's $177 million, 86-bed hospital that would be part of a large health care campus in Clarksburg.
The full commission is scheduled to vote on the recommendation on Jan. 20 in Baltimore. But Adventist argued that, before the commission votes, Moon should reconsider the recommendation based on the exceptions filed Thursday.
“Our exceptions identify issues and concerns that are vitally important to address before there is any ruling to establish Maryland’s first hospital in a metropolitan area in more than 30 years,” William G. “Bill” Robertson, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare said in a news release. "This decision is too important for the citizens of Montgomery County and Maryland to be rushed through the full commission."
Holy Cross Hospital officials said they remain pleased with Moon's recommendation.
“We plan to file no exceptions," said Holy Cross spokeswoman Yolanda Gaskins. “We think Dr. Moon did a wonderful job in handling the review process and are delighted with the recommendation. We look forward to the recommendation of the full commission on the 20th.”
Supporters of Adventist's plan for a Clarksburg hospital say it may be the last chance to meet the town’s develop needs outlined in a 1994 master plan.
"It's nice to have an upcounty hospital, but it does promote the continual challenges we have in the upcounty," Montgomery County Councilman Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) said after the recommendation was released. Rice has previously voiced support for a hospital in Clarksburg.
In a Dec. 8 interview, Rice said that Clarksburg is the area with the greatest need for development.