Bid to reopen shuttered North Carolina ASC rejected

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The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision to transfer the certificates of need for a closed two-operating-room ASC to a new entity with plans to reopen it.


Sentara Kitty Hawk Ambulatory Surgery Center was established in 1989 and grew to include two operating rooms and a diagnostic center. Sentara closed the facility in 2017 without plans to reopen.

FMSH, a limited liability company, asked state regulators a year later if it could reopen the center as a legacy medical care facility to avoid obtaining a new certificate of need. At the time, FMSH didn't own the center, and regulators required the company to legally acquire the ASC before reopening. The regulators mandated the action take place by June 2021.

FMSH challenged the decision, and an administrative law judge ruled in 2019 that Sentara had to transfer the certificates of need for its ASC to FMSH. Sentara and the North Carolina health department appealed the lower court's decision, and the appeals court ruled in their favor Sept. 7, rejecting the certificate-of-need transfer.

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