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Court rejects AG's request to reconsider CON decision

JACKSON — In June, the Mississippi Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a 2011 law that required appeals of certificate-of-need decisions to go directly to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court said appeals from CON decisions by the Mississippi State Department of Health must go first to the appropriate lower court. In this case, that would be chancery court.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied a request from the attorney general’s office to reconsider the CON decision.

The lawsuit was between Renal Care and Dialysis Solutions who were competing to operate a kidney dialysis treatment center in Montgomery County. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Renal Care received a CON in 2004 for a dialysis center. State law said such certificates are valid for a year and could be extended for six more months. However, the Health Department extended it four times.

In February 2010, the Supreme Court ruled the Health Department lacked authority for the extra extensions.

Dialysis Solutions, which had sought a CON before Renal Care began construction in 2007, tried to block the Health Department from using legislative authority to extend Renal Care’s certificate retroactively.

Dialysis Solutions initially sought an injunction in Hinds County. Then in July 2011 — after the new law took effect — the company filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

The state of Mississippi requires a CON in a process designed to avoid duplication of health care services and control costs.

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