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Update: Mission Hospital reapplies for a second emergency department in Buncombe County


5/16 This story has been updated with new information provided by Mission Health.

Mission Hospital has re-submitted plans to build a second emergency department in Buncombe County.

According to a public notice issued by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, MH Mission Hospital LLLP filed a certificate of need (CON) application to develop a freestanding facility to offer emergency, laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services.  The project is expected to cost $29 million and would be completed in July 2025. 

Certificate-of-need laws require healthcare providers wishing to build a new hospital or offer a new medical service to demonstrate a need for it in the community.

In 2022, Mission  was granted CON approval for two new emergency departments in Buncombe County, one in Candler and a second in Arden. This latest application is for a “do-over” of the CON for the ER in Candler.
According to a statement from Nancy Lindell, Media and Public Relations Director for Mission Health:

"Mission Hospital went through the correct process and the State Health Planning Agency agreed with our application and awarded us two CONs. However, Advent Hospital and Pardee Hospital appealed the State’s decision. As a result of the appeals, one judge recently ruled to overturn the CON for Candler, citing the reason as a lack of a public hearing - a step not included by the State in the application process as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID. There were a number of other CONs that were approved across the State during the more acute phases of the COVID public health emergency that did not have public hearings. While we were disappointed by the setback, we have applied again for an ER on Crowell Road and are optimistic that we will again be granted the CON for this much-needed location after the hearing in June."

A public hearing for the current proposal will be held June 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the Ferguson Auditorium of Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College, 340 Victoria Road in Asheville.

Anyone may file written comments concerning the proposal. Comments must be received by the Healthcare Planning and Certificate of Need Section no later than 5 p.m. on May 31. 

Comments may be submitted as an attachment to an email if they are sent to DHSR.CON.Comments@dhhs.nc.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the following address:

Healthcare Planning and Certificate of Need Section
            Division of Health Service Regulation
            2704 Mail Service Center
            Raleigh, NC 27699-2704

Certificate of need public notices are posted on the  DHSR website.

For more information contact Tanya M. Saporito, Project Analyst, Healthcare Planning and Certificate of Need Section, at (919) 855-3873 or  tanya.saporito@dhhs.nc.gov.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.