About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Hospitals get their state permits
The region’s three hospitals have received state permission to expand their services.
Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals received certificates of public need to host new radiation therapy programs. The Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center got a certificate for a new mobile lithotripsy service.
Dr. Karen Remley, state health commissioner, issued the radiation oncology permits Oct. 15 and the lithotripsy permit Oct. 19.
Her action clears the way for Mary Washington Healthcare, the parent company, to close its Cancer Center of Virginia in Spotsylvania County and establish new cancer centers at Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals.
One of the linear accelerators at the Spotsylvania facility will be moved to a new cancer center at the Fredericksburg hospital. The other will be replaced and moved to a new cancer center to be opened at the medical office building next door to Stafford Hospital. The Fredericksburg center is already under construction and also will house a previously approved linear accelerator.
“We’re very pleased to provide our community with expanded cancer services,” said Kathleen Allenbaugh, hospital spokeswoman.
Mary Washington Healthcare this week told the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority that it would like to sell bonds to fund the projects.
Spotsylvania will offer a lithotripsy service for patients with kidney stones. The hospital will hire a contractor, HealthTronics, to bring the mobile unit to the hospital one day a week. HealthTronics provides a similar service at Mary Washington Hospital.
Mary Washington objected to Spotsylvania’s proposal, saying that it would hurt its program. The commissioner disagreed, saying that the new service is unlikely to hurt Mary Washington.
As a condition of their permits, all three hospitals will have to provide the services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.