A controversial proposal to build a privately owned 200-bed hospital in Reston has been rejected for a second time by state officials who said the facility "would not contribute to the orderly development of health care in Northern Virginia."
In issuing the opinion, a hearing examiner for the State Corporation Commission upheld the decision of Virginia Health Commissioner James B. Kenley, who said the $34 million hospital proposed by the Kentucky-based Humana Inc. was unnecessary.
The rejection creates considerable doubt whether a hospital will be built in the western area of the county in the next few years. The state health commissioner last month rejected another proposal, by the quasipublic Fairfax Hospital Associaton, to close Commonwealth Hospital and build a new facility in western Fairfax. A third group, the private Hospital Corporation of America, will go before the State Corporation Commission June 8 to push its proposal for building a hospital near the site proposed by Humana.
"It does not mean that it would not be most desirable for the Herndon-Reston-Sterling area to have a hospital," said hearing examiner Charles Hundley. But he reiterated Kenley's argument that building the hospital wouldn't provide the best distribution of health care services overall in the county.
Humana had appealed Kenley's decision to the hearing examiner.
Many Reston area residents have pushed for a hospital in the community, contending that it now takes too long to reach any hospital from Reston. State officials have said the new hospital would mean "unnecessarily duplicated" services and denied Reston residents' travel contention.