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12/09/94 SYLACAUGA HEALTH CARE CENTER v. ALABAMA

December 9, 1994

SYLACAUGA HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC.
v.
ALABAMA STATE HEALTH PLANNING AGENCY AND SYLACAUGA HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY, D/B/A COOSA VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER; ALABAMA NURSING HOME ASSOCIATION, INC. V. CERTIFICATE OF NEED REVIEW BOARD, STATE HEALTH PLANNING AGENCY FOR THE STATE OF ALABAMA, COOSA VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER, INC., A/K/A SYLACAUGA HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY, INC., AND DERRELL O. FANCHER, AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ALABAMA STATE HEALTH PLANNING AGENCY



Appeals from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CV-90-2163, CV-90-2164, CV-90-2637, CV-90-2641, CV-91-2033, CV-92-1022, and CV-92-1148). Joseph D. Phelps, TRIAL JUDGE.

Rehearing Overruled January 20, 1995, . Certiorari Denied May 5, 1995. Released for Publication October 17, 1995.

Wright, Retired Appellate Judge, All the Judges concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wright

WRIGHT, Retired Appellate Judge

This is an appeal involving competing applications for a Certificate of Need (CON) to operate additional nursing home beds in Talladega County.

The first applicant, Sylacauga Health Care Center, Inc. (Sylacauga), filed its application with the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA), requesting approval for the construction and operation of 25 additional skilled nursing facility (SNF) beds for its facility in Talladega County. The estimated cost for the new construction averaged approximately $7,000 per bed.

The second applicant, Sylacauga Health Care Authority, Inc., d/b/a Coosa Valley Medical Center (Coosa Valley), filed its application with SHPDA, requesting approval for the reduction of its licensed acute care bed capacity by 26 beds, to be replaced by 26 (SNF) beds. The bed conversion was proposed to be accomplished through the use of existing hospital space, with insubstantial renovations being required within the existing hospital. The estimated cost for the conversion was approximately $2,500 per bed.

The third applicant, Talladega Nursing Home, Inc. (Talladega), requested approval for the addition of 12 new (SNF) beds to its existing facility. The application called for the renovation of existing space within the facility. The estimated cost for the conversion was approximately $2,567 per bed.

At the time the applications were filed, there was a total of 26 nursing home beds available in the State Health Plan for applicants in Talladega County.

This case has a lengthy procedural history. The initial proceedings are not germane to the Disposition of this appeal and will not be dwelt upon. We begin our procedural analysis with the "contested case hearing."

Following the reception and consideration of all the relevant testimony and evidence, the administrative law Judge issued his Report and Recommended Order on Contested Case Proceedings. It suggested that twelve beds be awarded to Talladega, fourteen beds be awarded to Coosa Valley, and no beds be awarded to Sylacauga.

The SHPDA CON Review Board (Board) adopted the recommendations of the administrative law Judge. Sylacauga gave timely notice of fair hearing as to the award to Coosa Valley and the denial of any beds to Sylacauga. The fair hearing officer affirmed the decision of the Board.

Sylacauga filed a notice of appeal in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County. The trial court heard oral argument and considered the record and additional briefs. The trial court entered an order, affirming the decision of the Board. Sylacauga appeals.

Sylacauga concedes that Talladega was properly awarded its CON. It asserts that the Board erred in denying its requested CON and in ...


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