CaroMont wins two-year battle to build ER

by Tori Hamby

CHARLOTTE – Mount Holly residents may see a shorter trip to the emergency room after all, now that a major healthcare system agreed to end its two-year legal battle with Caro-Mont Health over building an emergency room within the city.

Charlotte-based Carolina’s Healthcare released a statement last month, indicating it does not plan to appeal the N.C. Court of Appeals’ decision to allow CaroMont Health, based in Gastonia, to build the freestanding emergency room.

“While we disagree with the court’s decision and are disappointed that we will not be able to construct a facility to serve our patients locally, we agree with CaroMont that there is an immediate need for emergency medical services in the eastern part of Gaston County,” said Michael Tarwater, CEO of Carolina’s Healthcare.

“We remain committed to serving the healthcare needs of the citizens of the region and will continue to work with state and local leadership to identify and respond to all future health needs of the communities we serve.”

The battle to build an emergency room began in 2009, when both Caro-Mont Health and Carolinas Healthcare applied to the state for permission to build an emergency medical facility in Mount Holly. When the state awarded the Certificate of Need to CaroMont Health, Carolina’s Healthcare appealed the decision. The state requires all healthcare companies to obtain a Certificate of Need before building a medical facility to prevent duplication of services that could cause a rise in healthcare costs.

The following year, Carolinas Healthcare blocked the state’s Certificate of Need decision once again, after the state gave CaroMont Health permission to build inside the city for a second time. Late in 2011, the N.C. Court of Appeals again granted Caro-Mont Health its Certificate of Need.

During the more than two years of appeals, Carolinas Healthcare maintained that the state shouldn’t have awarded the Certificate of Need to CaroMont Health because the company had misidentified the area’s population.

The decision frees CaroMont Health to move forward with the $22 million, 46,000-square-foot “Mount Holly MedPlex” emergency facility that will serve Mountain Island residents in both western Mecklenburg and eastern Gaston counties. The two-story facility, which will remain open 24 hours a day and also offer radiology and laboratory services, should be built in about 18 months on land owned by the company across from the Mount Holly Citizens Center, CaroMont officials have indicated.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply