The directors of Doctors Hospital yesterday sharply critized a new city agency for using "minor, nonsubstantive matters" as a basis for revoking permission for the hospital to move to a renovated hotel near Washington Circle.
Unless the decision is reversed, the hospital said it will be forced to close when its present 38-year-old building on 1 Street NW is torn down in 1980.
On Friday, the District's Health Planning and Development Agency revoked permission for the move because the privately-owned hospital signed a contract in August to sell the hotel building at 1143 New Hampshire Ave NW and then lease it back.
Carl Wilson, director of the agency, said that under the "sales-leaseback" arrangement the hospital "does not have sufficient control of the property" to comply with D.C. law for granting the certificate of need that would allow the move.
In its statement the hospital said the terms of its lease with American Health Services Management Inc. are "common in hospital leases all over the country."
"We regret that the planning agency's objections were not raised earlier during our discussions with its staff," the statement said, "so that they could have been addressed - and resolved - prior to the agencys decision."
The New Hampshire Avenue building was opened in 1971 as an extended-care nursing home, and later became the Metropolitan Hotel. Renovation to turn it into a 260-bed hospital began last April and were expected to be complete by next fall, the hospital directors said.
They said the cost of renovating the hotal for hospital use was less than half the cost of building a new facility.
The hospital said it hopes to meet with the planning agency staff soon to "clarify" the lease and perhaps to obtain a reversal of Wilson's decision.
Doctors is the only one of the city's 15 hospitals that is owned by a profit-making corporation. It now is used by about 10,000 patients a year and 700 doctors. Since 1976 it has provided care for members of the Groups Association, the area's largest prepaid health maintenance organization.