NAPLES, Fla.- The NCH Healthcare System is objecting to Lee Memorial Health System's proposal to build an 80-bed hospital in south Lee County, according to NCH's filing to the state late Wednesday.
The nonprofit NCH, which operates the 261-bed North Naples Hospital on Immokalee Road, says Lee Memorial didn't present to the state any compelling evidence to justify additional hospital beds.
NCH's North Naples hospital is about 12 miles from Lee Memorial's proposed hospital site south of Coconut Road near U.S. 41.
In its 101-page filing, NCH contends small community hospitals only offer basic services and that patients in Estero and Bonita Springs already have reasonable access to acute care services.
Moreover, approving Lee Memorial's plan would further its dominance in the market and decrease competition, along with adversely affecting existing hospitals, including the publicly operated Lee Memorial.
From a broader perspective, the federal and state governments are grappling with fiscal challenges with Medicaid and Medicare, which is dramatically changing how health care is going to be provided in the future.
Dr. Allen Weiss, president and chief executive officer of NCH, said Wednesday that no hospital entity should be adding beds in Southwest Florida.