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SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/24/85)

decided: June 24, 1985.

SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HEALTH SYSTEMS AGENCY OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Health Facility Hearing Board in the case of In Re: Health Systems Agency of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Project No. Con-82-A-2274-B (Southern Chester County Medical Center), No. CN 83-010.

COUNSEL

W. Thomas Berriman, with him, Sherry E. Baskin and Joseph F. Murray, Berriman & Schwartz, for petitioner.

Carol Brayshaw Longwell, Assistant Counsel, with her, Ruth M. Siegel, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health.

Richard B. Cappalli, with him, Klein Hall, for respondent, Health Systems Agency of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Judges MacPhail and Barry and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 285]

Southern Chester County Medical Center (SCCMC) appeals here from an order of the State Health Facility Hearing Board (Board) which reversed a decision of the Department of Health (Department).*fn1 The Board concluded that the Department's determination was not based upon substantial evidence and that SCCMC's proposed addition of beds was subject to certificate of need review pursuant to Section 701(a)(3)

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 286]

    of the Health Care Facilities Act (Act), Act of July 19, 1979, P.L. 130, as amended, 35 P.S. § 448.701(a)(3).

The record shows that in April, 1983, SCCMC informed the Department by means of a letter of intent, of its proposed increase of its bed capacity from fifty-three beds to seventy-seven beds. SCCMC alleged that this increase in bed capacity would be accomplished without any capital expenditure and sought a change in its license to reflect the increased bed capacity. The Department sought a recommendation from the Health Systems Agency of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSA)*fn2 on this proposal, and the HSA advised the Department that the addition of beds was subject to certificate of need review.

On May 23, 1983, the Department, without a hearing, issued a determination of non-reviewability. The Department stated that because there was to be neither a capital expenditure nor the addition of a health service through the proposed additional bed capacity, the proposal did not fit the definition of a "new institutional health service." The Department held that this addition of beds, therefore, was not subject to certificate of need review. See Section 701 of the Act, 35 P.S. § 448.701.

The HSA appealed this determination of non-reviewability to the Board. The Board, without a hearing, determined that the Department's decision was not supported by substantial evidence. Further, ...


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