The Virginia health commissioner has rejected Fairfax Hospital Association proposals to add 68 beds to the 656-bed Fairfax Hospital and build a heart surgery unit at Mount Vernon Hospital in eastern Fairfax.
The nonprofit association, which runs four hospitals in the county, will decide in the next 90 days whether to appeal the decision, said Peggy Pond, the association's community relations director.
In his decision, Commissioner James B. Kenley said additional beds at Fairfax Hospital on Gallows Road near Rte. 50 were unneeded and "could negatively affect utilization at other hospitals in the Fairfax hospital system." Earlier this year, Kenley rejected a controversial proposal by Humana Inc. to build a 200-bed hospital in Reston, saying the Kentucky-based company's proposal would lead to too many hospital beds.
The heart surgery unit proposed for Mount Vernon Hospital near Hybla Valley off Richmond Highway also is unnecessary, said Kenley. The proposal could lead to fewer patients and poorer quality service at other hospitals, he said.
Kenley's decisions followed the negative recommendations of two advisory groups, the Northern Virginia Health Systems Agency and the Statewide Health Coordinating Council.
In other action, Kenley approved plans for a new program of cardiac catheterization, a diagnostic heart procedure, at Alexandria Hospital. The unit is expected to cost $166,500 to build, according to documents. A similiar program for Arlington Hospital was rejected.