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Miami-Dade Hospital Rejections Draw Legal Fights

hospital workers in hospital
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration faces legal challenges after rejecting two hospital proposals in Miami-Dade County.

The Public Health Trust of Miami-Dade County, which operates the Jackson Health System, and East Florida-DMC, Inc., which is affiliated with the HCA health-care chain, filed the challenges after the state agency preliminarily denied "certificates of need" for hospital proposals in Doral.

Certificates of need are a critical regulatory step in getting approval to build hospitals. The challenges were sent this week to the state Division of Administrative Hearings, where Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins is expected to hear the cases.

In its appeal, the Public Health Trust, which is doing business in the case as Jackson Hospital West, indicated it is seeking approval of a 100-bed hospital and wants an 80-bed proposal by the HCA affiliate to be denied. Both proposals have drawn opposition from Nicklaus Children's Hospital, which contends that the new facilities would duplicate services already provided by the pediatric hospital.