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Three Hospitals Challenging Proposed Marion County Hospital

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Three hospitals in Marion and Citrus counties are challenging a state decision to sign off on a new 66-bed hospital in Marion County, according to documents posted Thursday on the state Division of Administrative Hearings website.

The dispute stems from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s preliminary approval June 1 of a certificate of need for the 66-bed hospital proposed by Munroe Regional Medical Center. Obtaining certificates of need are a critical regulatory step in building hospitals and other types of health-care facilities.

Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital and Citrus Memorial Hospital filed a challenge to the certificate-of-need decision, contending in part that the approval would lead to an unnecessary duplication of patient beds and services in the area and would result in a loss of patients for the competing hospitals. The Agency for Health Care Administration on Thursday sent the challenge to the Division of Administrative Hearings, where it will be heard by an administrative law judge.

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