Trinity asks Alabama Supreme Court to stop Brookwood ER

Published 5:38 pm Friday, August 23, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

NORTH SHELBY — Trinity Medical Center is asking the Alabama Supreme Court to block Brookwood Medical Center’s plans to open a freestanding emergency room on U.S. 280.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals recently affirmed a lower court decision upholding Brookwood’s Certificate of Need, allowing the health system to open the emergency room.

In Trinity’s petition with the state Supreme Court, filed Aug. 22, Trinity’s attorneys argued that the State Health Planning and Development Agency should not have approved a Certificate of Need for Brookwood’s freestanding ER because the State Health Plan has no existing standards for freestanding ERs and does not address freestanding ERs in any capacity.

Trinity attorney Carey McRae wrote in an email Trinity is looking for answers to its concerns about the process of approving the Brookwood facility.

“Trinity did not take lightly the decision to ask for consideration from the Alabama Supreme Court on the freestanding emergency department matter. But their concerns have been consistent from the beginning of the (freestanding ER) discussion and they remain unaddressed,” McRae wrote. “Until this new delivery model is reviewed by the relevant and appropriate agencies and state offices – including the Department of Public Health, the Statewide Health Coordinating Council, the governor, the state health officer, and the Medicaid agency – the development and construction of an (freestanding ER) is premature.”

The Brookwood facility, to be located at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119, would be the first freestanding ER in Alabama, and would cost $19 million to build.