Franklin Circuit Court has denied a motion filed by Greenview Hospital and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to dismiss a Medical Center EMS lawsuit challenging the Cabinet’s emergency regulation involving ambulance service.
The Cabinet issued the emergency regulation in late September which allows Certificate of Need (CON) applications for new ambulance services to be “fast-tracked” through non-substantive review if proposed in counties meeting certain criteria. When the Cabinet enacted the emergency regulation, it mistakenly identified six counties in which the emergency regulation would apply, one of which was Warren County. Greenview Hospital filed a CON application the morning after the emergency regulation was enacted and before the emergency regulation was available to the public online.
The emergency regulation came on the heels of a privately funded “study” by the Pegasus Institute, a Louisville-based “think tank,” that suggested Warren County was the most underserved in the state for ambulance service. Medical Center EMS and Warren County Fiscal Court were quick to point out that neither had been contacted by the Pegasus Institute, and Warren County Fiscal Court unanimously passed a resolution at its November 30 meeting stating there is no need for an additional ambulance service in Warren County.
Greenview Hospital’s first response to the Medical Center EMS lawsuit was to file a motion to dismiss it. In a highly unusual move, the Cabinet joined Greenview Hospital’s motion. The Cabinet has traditionally remained neutral in such disputes. Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health, commented, “We were pleased to hear that Franklin Circuit Court rejected the attempt by Greenview Hospital and the Cabinet to dismiss our lawsuit. The lawsuit was a last resort for us, however we felt from the very beginning that this regulation unfairly and unlawfully targeted Warren County and threatens to disrupt what is one of the best emergency response systems in the Commonwealth that is delivered with no tax subsidy from Warren County citizens.”