Carolina Public Press: State committee delays decision of Mission Health’s operating agreement

Carolina Public Press reports that a state committee has postponed a final decision on the Certificate of Public Advantage under which Mission Health operates. The COPA and such MIssion projects as a new facility on the Buncombe-Henderson county line have been under fire — Park Ridge Hospital and other medical groups have accused Mission of aggressive, monopolistic practices; Mission has countered that the COPA isn’t fair and no longer suits modern-day realities in the health-care industry.

Here’s an excerpt from the story by Rose Hoban for Carolina Public Press, an investigative-jounralism nonprofit based in Asheville:

Lawmakers decided yesterday to delay action on the hotly contested Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) issue that’s set Asheville’s Mission Health System against some neighboring hospitals.

… The COPA was issued by the state in 1995 when Mission Hospital was seeking to merge with St. Joseph’s Hospital. … the state limited the amount of operating revenue Mission could earn annually, limited the number of doctors Mission could directly employ on it’s staff and created other limitations on how far a hospital authority could expand in it’s immediate area. …

Opponents of ending the COPA argue the move would free Mission to gobble up smaller hospitals in the western part of the state, thus losing local control over county-based hospitals. …


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