State Regulator: Adventist Hospital’s White Oak Building Not ‘Financially Feasible’
Member of the state’s hospital regulatory board rejectes Washington Adventist’s Hospital request to relocate from Takoma Park to White Oak, but not because neighboring hospitals are worried about competition.
Another snare in Washington Adventist Hospital’s plan to expand its network to the White Oak neighborhood of Silver Spring: Barbara McLean, the state regulator assigned to review the plans, is rejecting the proposal, stating the hospital “failed to demonstrate that the proposed project is financially feasible and viable,” the Washington Post reports.
The Takoma Park hospital applied to build a 249-bed healthcare facility on a 49-acre plot in White Oak, just southeast of the intersection of Route 29 and Cherry Hill Road.
The move was approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board over three years ago. A decision from the Maryland Healthcare Commission, the state’s regulatory board, has been delayed multiple times, the latest delay coming when the commissioner assigned to issue an initial recommendation died suddenly.
McLean, the commissioner who took on the Adventist Hospital case after her colleague’s death, seemed to be open to changing her mind if the hospital submitted a different proposal, the Post reported.
Three nearby hospitals submitted formal letters of dissent to the healthcare commission prior to McLean’s decision, citing concerns that the new hospital location would cut into their customer base.
Laurel Regional Hospital, located about 6 miles from the proposed hospital site, Montgomery General in Olney, about 10 miles away, and Holy Cross in Silver Spring, about 7 miles south of the proposed site, all opposed the move.
McLean dismissed the competing hospital’s claims, the Post reports.
“I have found that the likely impact on other hospitals of the proposed project would not constitute a basis, in and of itself, for denial of the project,” she wrote.
Washington Adventist wants to build a bigger facility on a 48-acre plot near the Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak headquarters. Hospital administrators said last year that the current location doesn’t have enough private rooms. Narrow roads into the campus make it difficult for emergency vehicles and cars to share the street.
County and state officials have tied the move to economic growth in the eastern part of Montgomery County, with hopes of creating a health sciences corridor in East County.