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Appeal filed to high court in open-heart unit project

By By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
Dec. 28, 2000
Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center has appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in an effort to stop Rush Foundation Hospital from opening a second open-heart unit in Meridian.
The effort is JARMC's fifth attempt to halt construction already in progress at Rush to create Meridian's second cardiovascular surgery and cardio-therapeutic catheterization unit.
Jones was reportedly out of state and could not be reached Wednesday for further comment. He has previously said, however, Anderson would "continue to pursue" all means for stopping the move by Rush.
In the meantime, he said, the move to create an open-heart unit at Rush is still on track, based mainly on an opinion issued by Attorney General Mike Moore's office in August that allows for institutions such as Rush to "purchase medical equipment or develop property" in hand if the projects do not exceed a $2 million price tag.
Rush began its legal fight for the opportunity to offer Mississippi and Alabama patients a choice in heart surgery facilities after applying for a certificate of need from the Mississippi State Department of Health in June 1999. But when authorities with Anderson protested, the state health department ordered both parties to present their case in a public hearing held in Jackson.
Afterward, the state hearing officer recommended the certificate's approval, and by late July the certificate was granted. Anderson appealed to chancery courts in Hinds County to no avail.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@themeridianstar.com.

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