Monongalia General Hospital Asks for Hearing in WVU Hospitals Ex - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Monongalia General Hospital Asks for Hearing in WVU Hospitals Expansion

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Monongalia General Hospital is asking for a public hearing about West Virginia University Hospital's expansion plan.

WVU Hospitals plans to add more than 100 beds in an addition to Ruby Memorial Hospital, and filed for a certificate of need with the state Health Care Authority.

In response, Mon General files as an affected party on Monday, March 12, and requested a public hearing.

The purpose of the Certificate of Need process is to control costs, improve quality and efficiency of the health care system, encourage collaboration, and to develop a system of healthcare delivery that makes health care services available to all residents of the State," said Darryl Duncan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mon Health System in a statement. "A public hearing should be welcomed when so much is as stake."

In another statement, Bruce McClymonds, President and CEO of WVU Hospitals said much is at stake, if the project is held back by extra proceedings.

"Every month of delay increases the likelihood of patients having to leave the state for care. It also makes the project more expensive, which could put some crucial segments of the expansion at risk."

McClymonds points out that Mon General is one of the top five hospitals that transfers patients to WVUH, and it's had a hard time in recent years keeping up with the demand.

"Last year, there were 1,988 hours when we had to delay transfers - the equivalent of 83 days - because our beds were full. This is occurring at an increasing rate," McClymonds said.

Duncan points to health care reform as one reason why providers should consider plans like this carefully.

"The focus of healthcare must move from a reactionary system to one of prevention and maintenance. And when hospital based services are required the value of those services should be considered – that is the consumer should be receiving the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost. Mon Health System requested the public hearing so these questions can be answered in a public and accountable forum," Duncan said.

The $248 million WVU Hospitals plan would add 750 jobs, according to McClymonds, without using state funds or requiring an "extraordinary" rate increase.

In his statement, McClymonds also invited Mon General officials to meet with them and discuss their concerns.