Clarksburg Community Hospital and Adventist Healthcare petitioned the court, saying that the Maryland Health Care Commission should not have approved the Holy Cross plans in part because commissioners had not allowed the protesting hospitals to contest arguments from Holy Cross about why the hospital was needed.
The judge agreed in part, writing in a decision published Feb. 21 that state law requires that “before an agency takes official notice of a fact it shall give each party an opportunity to contest that fact.” The judge sent the case back to the commission.
Holy Cross is already building the hospital, however. It broke ground in December of last year on the six-story facility, which is to have 93 beds, with an expected opening date of 2014.
Holy Cross spokeswoman Diane Meyers issued a statement in response to the decision saying that, “we are optimistic that the Maryland Health Care Commission will outline a process that will resolve this issue quickly.”
Meyers pointed out that of three issues raised before the court, the judge found no merit on two of them.
“The court concluded that the only defect in the proceedings was using information in the decision that had not previously been part of the record,” she said.
Meanwhile, Adventist is currently seeking approval of its own to move a hospital from Takoma Park to White Oak, about 20 miles from Germantown. But its plans encountered its own hurdle when the commissioner reviewing Adventist’s White Oak plan, Randall P. Worthington Sr., died of an accidental gunshot Feb. 22, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.
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