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VOL. 132 | NO. 168 | Thursday, August 24, 2017

State Again Rejects Baptist's Request for Arlington Emergency Room

By Andy Meek

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A state agency has again turned down Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.’s application to build an emergency room in Arlington.

After denying a slightly different version of the same request by Baptist in April, the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency voted 4-4 Wednesday, Aug. 23, on Baptist’s application for a full-service, 24-7 satellite emergency department in Arlington, near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Airline Road. It was slated to have been developed, operated, marketed and funded through a joint agreement between Baptist and Regional One Health, include eight treatment rooms and cost about $10 million.

The tie vote for the project, which would have provided emergency diagnostic and treatment services, means the application was not approved.

“We were very disappointed in this outcome since the application enjoyed unanimous support by the (Arlington) mayor and the board of alderman,” Baptist said in a statement released after the agency’s meeting. “Despite Methodist's and St. Francis' opposition to our expansion project in Arlington, we look forward to working with the town to further develop health care services in the community that meet the needs of their citizens.”

Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett and Methodist Healthcare both opposed Baptist’s application. The state agency in April denied rival certificate of need applications for emergency rooms in Arlington from both Saint Francis and Baptist.

Baptist’s application that was voted on this week was a retooled version of that earlier application. In response to its denial, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett CEO Chris Locke said in a statement the hospital is pleased with the state’s decision and that Baptist’s application “does not demonstrate the orderly development of care the Arlington community needs.”

“We have a clear vision for working together with the community,” he added, “to expand access to high-quality care and enhance health care services available locally. We look forward to articulating that vision to the Agency in the coming months, as we appeal our application for a free-standing emergency department in Arlington.”

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