The hearing on Centennial Medical Center's application to create a 24-hour satellite emergency department in Spring Hill has been postponed while the TriStar Health System hospital tries to reach common ground with its opponents.
TriStar announced today that the Tennessee Health Services Development Agency granted its request to delay the review of its Certificate of Need application from tomorrow morning until the agency’s Nov. 17 meeting, giving it the opportunity to "continue good-faith discussions with Williamson Medical Center and Maury Regional Medical Center aimed at a mutually beneficial resolution that meets the needs of the citizens of Spring Hill."
TriStar, HCA Inc.’s local health system, filed its application for the $9.1 million emergency department in June — less than a year after opposition from Williamson Medical and Maury Regional prompted it to give up its fight to build a 56-bed hospital on the same plot of land.
The two hospitals announced their opposition to the emergency department plan earlier this month, citing concerns about costs, delaying care and limiting patient choice for individuals that would be transferred from the satellite ED to Centennial Medical Center for treatment.
Centennial requested the 60-day deferral “in cooperation with” Williamson Medical and Maury Regional in order to “allow the parties to continue discussions,” according to an email from Centennial to HSDA Executive Director Melanie Hill.
Spokeswomen for the Williamson and Maury County facilities confirmed their leaders are in talks with TriStar, but they declined to discuss what options the parties may be exploring. In announcing Maury Regional's opposition, CEO Robert Otwell had said his facility was “hopeful that Centennial will engage in a productive discussion about an urgent care center.”
According to Hill, hearing deferrals are not unusual, but she noted that any “substantive changes” to the CON plan — such as shifts in the proposed facility's ownership — would require a new application.
The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and several physicians also had expressed opposition to the CON application.