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METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/18/87)

decided: June 18, 1987.

METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Health Facility Hearing Board, in case of In Re: Metropolitan Hospital, Project No. CON-82-A-1793-B, Docket No. CN 85-003.

COUNSEL

Bruce W. Kauffman, with him, Jonathan Vipond, III, and James J. Rodgers, Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman ; Of Counsel: Robert M. Silverman, for petitioner.

Ruth E. Granfors, Assistant Counsel, with her, Jonathan P. Neipris, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barbieri

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 6]

Metropolitan Hospital (Metropolitan), Petitioner, appeals here an order of the State Health Facility Hearing

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 7]

Board (Board) which affirmed a decision of the Department of Health (Department) denying Petitioner's application for a Certificate of Need (CON). We affirm.

Metropolitan, the largest osteopathic hospital in Pennsylvania, made application for a Certificate of Need seeking authorization to expand its cardiovascular program to include cardiac catheterization services and open heart surgery. Metropolitan's application was submitted to the Health Systems Agency of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HSA) pursuant to provisions in Sections 701 and 702 of the Health Care Facilities Act (Act), Act of July 19, 1979 P.L. 130, as amended, 35 P.S. § 448.701-702 (Supp. 1986). HSA, after receiving and reviewing appropriate advisories, recommended that the Department deny the application. The Department, carrying out its own review, acting by the Secretary of Health, denied the application on January 4, 1985. On Metropolitan's appeal to the Board, the filing of a stipulation of facts and a hearing, the Board affirmed the Department's decision to deny the application in an order dated December 18, 1985. This timely appeal here followed.

Section 102 of the Act Provides:

The General Assembly finds that the health and welfare of Pennsylvania citizens will be enhanced by the orderly and economical distribution of health care resources to prevent needless duplication of services. Such distribution of resources will be furthered by governmental involvement to coordinate the health care system. Such a system will enhance the public health and welfare by making the delivery system responsive and adequate to the needs of its citizens, and assuring that new health care services and facilities are efficiently and effectively used; that health care services and facilities continue

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 8]

    to meet high quality standards; and, that all citizens receive humane, courteous, and dignified treatment. (Emphasis added.)

35 P.S. § 448.102 (Supp. 1986).

As can be seen from the stated purpose of the Act, particularly the emphasized portion of the first sentence above-quoted, it was a major mission of the Legislature in enacting the legislation that there be prevention of "needless duplication of services."

The Department, by the Secretary of Health, denied the application, based upon the following findings:

1. The project is not consistent with the State Health Plan (SHP). The applicant applied for an exception to the SHP but the request was denied. There is no additional need for cardiac catheterization laboratories. The SHP projects a need for 17 cardiac catheterization laboratories through 1987. Presently, the region has 23 cardiac catheterization laboratories. Also, the Department finds that there is no need for additional open heart surgery services in this region. Currently there are 13 facilities approved to provide open heart services in this region.

2. The State Health Plan requires all existing cardiac catheterization laboratories to be operating at 85% efficiency (510 procedures) per laboratory per hospital. Currently there are at least 12 underutilized laboratories in this region based on the latest data available at the time of Metropolitan Hospital's review at the Health Systems Agency. Using the most recent data (FY 84) ...


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