Phoebe decision reversed by hearing officer

 A Georgia Department of Community Health Hearing Officer has ruled that  any separation or divestiture of the former Palmyra hospital assets purchased by the Hospital Authority of Albany/Dougherty County would require a Certificate of Need. 
The Administrative Hearing Officer's decision is contrary to a Determination Letter issued by a Division of the Department of Community Health last June. The June letter indicated no CON would be necessary if the FTC required a divestiture of the north campus and separated it for sale to a third party. 
 Phoebe's Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, Thomas S. Chambless says,"We are, of course, pleased with the very clear order of the Hearing Officer who reviewed DCH's Determination Letter and reversed it.  This order, entered after the Hearing Officer received extensive briefing and oral argument by the parties, makes clear that the analysis done by the Federal Trade Commission last year when it entered into a settlement with Phoebe Putney and the Hospital Authority was and is correct.  A divestiture of the Phoebe North Campus facility is not a remedy which can be effectuated as a result of the proceeding by the FTC.  The Hearing Officer's Order affirms the conclusion the Federal Trade Commission staff and, then, the Commission itself reached last year.  We are hopeful the Commissioners will now act in accordance with this affirmation of their own earlier analysis and bring this matter to a conclusion, rather than continue with administrative litigation.”

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