NorthEast moves on with appeal process


Concord-based medical center hopes, despite state’s denial, to open emergency department in Harrisburg

By Ben McNeely
[email protected]

NorthEast Medical Center is moving ahead with its appeal to the state Department of Health and Human Services over denial of an application to build an emergency care facility in Harrisburg.

Carol Lovin, vice president for strategic planning and market development, said NorthEast is seeking a decision as soon as possible.

“We remain optimistic this will be resolved and we can move forward with the facility,” Lovin said.

The state in March denied a certificate of need application from NorthEast requesting to build a $23 million emergency care center. 

The proposed center would have a full emergency department, a diagnostic center and a women’s imaging center that would offer mammograms, Lovin said.

Lovin said the denial report stated Presbyterian Healthcare had been given a green light to build a full hospital in Mint Hill, just a few miles from Harrisburg. NorthEast is merging with Carolinas Healthcare System, which is a competitor of Presbyterian Healthcare. The NorthEast-CHS merger is scheduled to be finalized this week.

The $90-million, 50-bed facility would feature a full emergency department, imaging center and surgical facilities, according to Marcia Meredith, spokeswoman for Presbyterian Healthcare. Meredith said Presbyterian filed comments in opposition to the NorthEast facility with the state Division of Facility Services.

“That facility was cited several times in the report, but I cannot make any comments on discussions we are having about the appeal,” Lovin said. “So far, we have submitted new information to the state to support our position.”

The appeals process could take up to nine months to complete.

“We are certainly hoping we can get the case resolved before then,” Lovin said.

NorthEast is also competing with Presbyterian for an magnetic resonance imaging machine. 

Both NorthEast and Presbyterian applied in May to install the one MRI scanner the state will approve for Cabarrus County in 2007.

Presbyterian has proposed an imaging center for the Kannapolis Parkway area. NorthEast received approval from the state for an imaging center at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, but NorthEast had to apply for the MRI scanner separately.

• Contact Ben McNeely: 704-789-9131

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