Trident Health responds

  • Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dear Editor,
Trident Health has chosen to appeal the recent Administrative Law Court’s decision,
which agreed with DHEC’s approval of two new hospitals in Berkeley County. Why are we
appealing the decision? Trident believes that, in the long run, two hospitals in Berkeley
County would negatively impact healthcare costs and possibly result in the closing of
one or both hospitals.
Simply put if both hospitals are built, there will be a duplication of basic services, which
will result in fewer patients at each. In order to keep its doors open, each hospital would
be forced to negotiate higher rates with insurance companies, leading to higher costs for
patients. It is doubtful that either hospital would ever grow large enough to offer such
specialty services as cardiac/stroke, cancer, and advanced surgical care. Without a critical
mass of patients, physician specialists would likely choose to work at other hospitals with
higher patient volumes and consistent quality care.
Unfortunately, the experiment of having two low volume community hospitals is currently
playing out in Mt. Pleasant, where DHEC approved the addition of a second hospital in a
market that cannot support two. The latest publicly available data (2011) show that Roper
Mt. Pleasant had an average of ten patients per day in its 85 bed hospital, and operated at
a loss of approximately $10 million in its first year. Further, Roper Mt. Pleasant does not
provide advanced cardiac/stroke care and advanced surgical services, nor does it have a
trauma center.
Please be assured, Trident Health remains committed to building a hospital in Moncks
Corner to serve the citizens of Berkeley County for decades to come. It is critical that
before we invest more than $100 million in a new hospital, we can guarantee its
success. As the Roper ads and commercials you have seen imply, our two organizations
differ significantly on this issue; but ‘putting our differences aside’ to build two hospitals
would undoubtedly have a long-term, negative impact on healthcare costs, quality and
the growth of Berkeley County. Thus, Trident must appeal to a higher court to overturn
this decision and ask that DHEC approve the hospital project that is best suited for the
residents of Berkeley County. Trident Health plans to be here for you and your family, to
grow and expand well into the future.
I invite your questions or comments; please email me at berkeley@hcahealthcare.com. Thank
you for your time, patience and understanding as we work to resolve this important matter.

Todd Gallati, FACHE
CEO & President

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