About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Cancer plan gets early nod

Mary Washington Healthcare’s plan to close the Cancer Center of Virginia and move the equipment there got an early vote of support yesterday.

A staff report from the Virginia Department of Health recommends that the idea be approved, with the condition that Mary Washington provide charity care equal to 4.2 percent of gross revenue from radiation therapy services.

The staff report notes that the idea would have no negative impact on other providers, and that there is no known opposition to the plan. The final decision will be made by the state health commissioner and is expected later this year.

Mary Washington has asked permission to close the center on State Route 3 in Spotsylvania. It would move one of the linear accelerators there to the new cancer center on the hospital campus. The other would be replaced and moved to Stafford Hospital.

Mary Washington estimates that it will cost $4.5 million to create the new Stafford Hospital Cancer Center. This would include the cost of equipment and renovations to 7,800 square feet of leased office space on the first-floor of the building next to the hospital.    

The staff report says that Mary Washington will not have to hire additional staff for the two new cancer centers. “Whatever personnel will be needed will be obtained through a sharing arrangement with the professional staff currently serving the Cancer Center of Virginia,” the report says. 

(An earlier posting on the new cancer center at Mary Washington can be seen here.)