Can Loudoun Support Two Hospitals?

Can Loudoun Support Two Hospitals?

HCA questions Loudoun Hospital's conclusions, cites county's growth.

The Loudoun Hospital Center expects layoffs and loss of revenue are ahead if a new hospital is built in the Broadlands area.

The attorney for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) does not see any evidence supporting the hospital's claims.

"We just disagree that it's going to happen based on the population growth, the age of the population and the population they serve," said Thomas Hancock, an attorney with Crews & Hancock, PLC that is representing HCA.

HCA plans to build a 180-bed hospital near the Dulles Greenway to replace two existing facilities in northern Virginia and combine their services into one building for psychiatric care, general acute care and medical and surgical services. The proposed site for the hospital is about five miles from Loudoun Hospital's location in Lansdowne.

Loudoun Hospital released four pages of conclusions based on a study prepared by the accounting firm KPMG for the hospital. The study responds to HCA's application to the state to build in Broadlands and replace two hospitals. HCA filed the Certificate of Public Need (COPN) in July and expects a final decision in early February.

LOUDOUN HOSPITAL'S four-page summary claims Loudoun Hospital will experience a 40 percent reduction of medical and surgical services if HCA opens a second hospital in the county. The reduction in services in turn will cost the hospital $54 million a year in annual revenues and force the hospital to lay off 450 employees, according to the summary.

"We aren't sure how the KPMG numbers were derived, nor is it clear to us that this document is being presented as an official opinion of KPMG," Hancock said about the summary. "We're looking at the document now. ... The findings seem illogical considering that Loudoun County is the second fastest growing county in the country, Loudoun Hospital only serves 42 percent of the population of Loudoun County and HCA will be transferring staff from the two facilities it is closing."

Hancock said if the COPN is approved, the majority of staff for the HCA hospital in Broadlands will be transferred from the two hospitals being replaced.

"We're not concerned that Loudoun is asking for additional beds, because we feel the need is so great that the future demand will absorb all these resources," Hancock said.

Rodney Huebbers, president of Loudoun Healthcare, Inc., and Jeff Cowart, spokesperson for Loudoun Hospital, did not return phone calls by press time.