Roper St. Francis maintains its commitment to serve healthcare needs in Berkeley County, a community that has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. The Berkeley Hospital will be centrally located at Carnes Crossroads, where Highway 17A and 176 intersect as part of a mixed-use planned community being developed by the Daniel Island Company. This new hospital will address a real and growing need in a vibrant community. We are proud to bring the proven, quality care that people of the Lowcountry have trusted for more than 150 years closer to the thousands of Berkeley residents who already rely on Roper St. Francis.
In September 2012, the S.C. Administrative Law Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that two hospitals could be constructed in Berkeley County, a decision that Trident Health System appealed. The appeal came despite the fact that Berkeley (pop. 190,000) is the largest county in the state without such a facility.
Not much has changed in the ensuing months, but it is expected that the state Court of Appeals will request briefs on the case from both Roper St. Francis and Trident in the near future.
The position maintained by RSF is that we agree with the previous rulings and that all legal matters in the case have been addressed. Trident is expected to argue the lower courts made errors in previous rulings. (The appellate court setting is not one for a retrial, but rather a place to examine whether mistakes were made somewhere in the legal process.)
If the appellate court upholds the ruling, Trident could drop its complaint or take the case to the state Supreme Court. If the ruling is overturned, the case would be sent back to the lower courts.
There is chance that before the Court of Appeals has a chance to rule, the Supreme Court could “reach down” and hear the case. That is the preferable option for RSF, as it would likely save years of legal wrangling.
Certificate of Need
The Certificate of Need program’s suspension has not changed anything in the Berkeley County case.
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a S.C. Hospital Association petition on the subject, but offered no timeline in regard to doing so.
During this time of limbo, no one in the state has moved forward with projects, as concerned parties wait for a final outcome. This much, however, is certain: RSF maintains its commitment to build a hospital in Berkeley County.