University Hospital files letter of intent to develop Columbia County hospital

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- University Hospital has filed a letter of intent for a Columbia County Hospital.

The letter was sent to the Georgia Department of Community Health – Healthcare Facility Regulation Division to “develop a 100-bed acute care hospital” in Columbia County, University Hospital said.

A letter of intent must be filed 30 days prior to a Certificate of Need application, once that application is received, the review process takes 120 days, the Department of Community Health said.

After those letters are submitted, there is still more paperwork for the hospitals before the Georgia Department of Community Health reviews the application.

“We look forward to fine-tuning and submitting our application that shows that University is undeniably the best choice to build a hospital in Columbia County based on these facts,” explained Jim Davis, University Health Care System President/CEO.

In March, Commissioners decided not to accept any of the bids from the three hospitals: Georgia Regents Medical Center, University Hospital and Doctors Hospital.

The letter states the 250,000-square foot facility will be built on University’s existing campus at 447 North Belair Road in Evans, at a total cost of $143,940,000, University Hospital said.

Columbia County is the largest county in the state without its own hospital.

Doctors Hospital responded to University Hospital's actions:

"As the leading provider of healthcare to our neighbors in Columbia County, Doctors Hospital is still very much committed to building a state-of-the-art hospital in the area. We will formally file our Letter of Intent and CON in the near future."

GRU also responded:

"We haven’t filed our letter of intent at this point, but we remain committed to building a community teaching hospital and health care campus in Columbia County that will play a significant role as a contributor to the economic, social, cultural, and physical health and wellness of its residents and neighbors."

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