Judge to decide outcome of hospital debate - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Judge to decide outcome of hospital debate

A battle between two Huntsville hospitals is now in the hands of a judge. Huntsville hospital and Crestwood Medical Center are at odds over a cardiac program.

Officials with Crestwood said if they can continue their angioplasty procedures, it would give patients more options. Officials with Huntsville are asking the state to review their position before they make a decision.

Crestwood Medical Center is looking to continue their cardiac angioplasty program for non-emergency patients, but state approval is needed before they can proceed.

"We want to try to prove to the judge that we deserve to be able to continue this life saving procedure on a permanent basis," said Crestwood CEO Pam Hudson. "It is supported by independent physicians in our community and many, many patients would like to choose where they go to have care. This hearing has been very favorable from a quality standpoint, and we are optimistic."

David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, wants the judge to deny Crestwood's request.

"The American College of Cardiology recently came out with some guidelines on when you should do it, how you should do it, and also when it's not appropriate," Spillers said. "Our position is we are asking that the state look at the recommendations before they make a final decision for Crestwood or any other hospital that chooses to get this kind of service." 

Administrative law judge, Al Agricola, heard testimony over three days from both hospitals. Once Agricola makes his ruling, it will go to the certificate of need board for review. The decision could take six weeks to two months.


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