Officials at Parkridge Health System announced Monday they will drop their appeal to CHI Memorial's plans to build a new replacement hospital in Catoosa County, Georgia, ending a nearly seven-month standoff between the competing health systems.
State regulators in April granted CHI Memorial a certificate of need, which is akin to a permit, to relocate its current North Georgia hospital in Fort Oglethorpe by building a more than $100 million replacement more than 5 miles east in Ringgold.
That certificate was effectively suspended in May when Chattanooga-based Parkridge Health submitted an appeal on the basis that Parkridge offers "substantially similar services" just over the state line in Tennessee.
Groundbreaking for the new hospital has been postponed throughout the appeals process, which can sometimes take years to resolve.
"After extensive consideration and deliberation, Parkridge Health System has made the decision to drop its appeal of the certificate of need decision for the proposed North Georgia hospital," said a statement from Parkridge spokesperson Michelle Heron, noting that CHI Memorial officials were notified Friday of the decision to drop the appeal.
"Going into the new year, Parkridge Health will be prioritizing our efforts to focus more on the development and construction of our two new freestanding emergency departments to be located at Camp Jordan in East Ridge and Soddy-Daisy," according to the statement. "As always, Parkridge Health System will continue to provide quality health care services to our neighbors from North Georgia as we have done for nearly half a century."
CHI Memorial spokesperson Karen Long said via email, "We look forward to receiving official notice from the hearing officer and then our CON from the Georgia Department of Community Health so we can move forward with building our long-awaited replacement hospital. The people of North Georgia deserve to receive the care they need close to home."
Long said via phone Monday evening that it is too soon to say when construction can begin on the new hospital.
Parkridge's appeal prompted a Georgia health care regulatory board in October to unanimously approve a rule change to prevent out-of-state providers from appealing state-approved projects going forward.
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