SEANC opposes CON application that would extend HCA’s monopoly

Aug 02, 2022

RALEIGH – The State Employees Association of North Carolina on Monday submitted public comments in opposition to Mission Hospital’s application for Certificate of Need authority to add 67 acute care beds to its main hospital in Asheville.

As the leading advocate for the 750,000-plus members of the State Health Plan, including state employees, retirees, and their loved ones, SEANC has a duty to preserve affordable, high-quality health care for our members in the western part of the state who would be negatively affected by this application from Mission Health.

“We believe that the Applicant’s proposed project fails to meet many of the crucial Certificate of Need criteria essential to the delivery of low-cost, high-quality healthcare in North Carolina,” said SEANC Executive Director Ardis Watkins in the 66-page comment.

HCA, Mission’s parent company, already enjoys a monopoly on health care in Western North Carolina. It controls more than 85% of the region’s acute care market. There have been numerous allegations that HCA has raised prices and cut staffing at Mission Health since taking over the hospitals in 2019.

HCA has been hit with three class-action lawsuits arguing that it has a monopoly on healthcare in the region, most recently last week by the City of Asheville and Buncombe County. Elected leaders have also spoken out against HCA’s low staffing and monopolistic business practices.

SEANC, SEIU Local 2008, is the South’s leading state employee association — 46,000 members strong. With 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. To keep up on SEANC’s daily news, follow us on Twitter @SEANC and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/SEANC.Local2008.

Read the full comment here: https://www.seanc.org/assets/HCA-NC-CoN-Comment-FINAL.pdf