Georgia Dept. of Community Health v. Northside Hospital, Inc.Annotate this Case
The issues this case presented to the Supreme Court both arose from the Georgia Department of Community Health's ("DCH's") granting of an application for a Certificate of Need ("CON") to develop an outpatient ambulatory surgery service in East Cobb County to Kennestone Hospital, Inc. Kennestone's application was eventually approved by the DCH after the service was determined to be "part of a hospital" pursuant to Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 111-2-2-.40 (1) (a). Northside Hospital, Inc. opposed the CON and sought administrative review of the DCH's initial decision. After the appeal was unsuccessful, Northside then filed a petition for judicial review with the superior court. The superior court reversed the DCH's decision to grant the CON on the basis that the "case-by-case" provision in Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 111-2-2-.40 (1) (a) was unconstitutionally vague. The Court of Appeals upheld the superior court's determination. "The gist of the Rule is to afford a less stringent review for ambulatory surgery service proposals that are 'part of a hospital.' [. . .] the final sentence of the Rule cannot be read in isolation from the other language contained in it. Thus, contrary to Northside's contentions, the Rule is not unconstitutionally vague on its face, and the Court of Appeals was incorrect to conclude otherwise."