The day after Maury Regional Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center formally announced their opposition to TriStar Health System's plan to build a Centennial Medical Center satellite emergency department in Spring Hill, the HCA system responded publicly.
Wednesday afternoon TriStar issued a news release saying it is "looking forward to consideration" of its Certificate of Need application for the 24-hour ED by the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency. From the statement:
TriStar has previous experience with satellite emergency departments, as it operated Smyrna Medical Center (beginning in 1988) for more than 15 years. The facility provided 24-hour emergency care and was staffed with physicians and nurses trained in emergency care.
TriStar is the only health system in Middle Tennessee that has experience in operating a facility of this kind. In addition, HCA has a great deal of experience in developing and operating satellite emergency departments in other areas across the country.
Regarding the request by Williamson Medical Center and Maury Regional Medical Center for a joint venture urgent care center in Spring Hill, we did respond and expressed concerns about the proposal, as they did with ours. We remain open and willing to meet with their representatives, and are working to schedule those meetings.
In a letter to the CEOs of Williamson Medical and Maury Regional, provided to NashvillePost.com, Centennial CEO Thomas Herron said he's willing to talk about "broader collaborations" between the facilities, but noted that federal laws do not allow joint ventures for a hospital department and that an urgent care center "would not bring the level of services afforded by a hospital emergency department, and appears to represent nothing new to the area except longer hours of operation of the primary care clinic."