- In December 2015, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) approved Jackson Health System's plans for a new 100-bed hospital in Doral, Florida, which will have "a stand-alone emergency room, a pediatric center, physician offices and outpatient surgery," Miami Herald reported.
- Five South Florida hospitals are challenging the approval in court through two separate suits claiming there isn't a need for a new facility in the proposed area, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
- Jackson Health intends to move forward with construction.
The five rival hospitals include Coral Gables Hospital, Hialeah Hospital, Palmetto General, Kendall Regional Medical Center, and Nicklaus Children's.
Generally, AHCA makes approval decisions based on an area's unmet patient needs. However, HCA's (who owns Kendall Regional Medical Center) application for an 80-bed hospital in Doral was rejected by the AHCA because the agency believed nonprofit Jackson Health would best serve residents' needs.
However, Coral Gables, Palmetto, and Hialeah -- all owned by Tenet Healthcare -- filed a suit this week claiming a new hospital isn't needed in the area and such a building would dilute the region's healthcare resources.
Kendall and nonprofit Nicklaus Children's filed separate suits looking to upend the approval. HCA is seeking to overturn the denial of its Doral-area hospital application, claiming the area is in need of a hospital but it shouldn't be Jackson Health that builds it.
Jackson Health with its continuing its construction plans. In the Florida Legislature, a pending bill could allow hospitals to build anywhere without the need of completing the state's Certificate of Need process through the AHCA, which is often challenged, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
“Jackson Health System is committed to bringing its world-class medical care to people who live, work, and play in western Miami-Dade County with the opening of Jackson West,” Jackson spokeswoman Jennifer Piedra told the South Florida Business Journal, adding, “We do not comment on pending litigation.”
Tenet Healthcare said, “Jackson West does not provide any information, data, anecdotes or substantive facts which demonstrate that residents of Doral do not have reasonable access to existing hospitals in the subdistrict. There are available, quality and nearby hospitals which are reasonably accessible to residents of the service area.”
A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.