A Texas company filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the state for rejecting its application to build a psychiatric hospital in Columbia.
SRP Oceans Columbia, with an address listed in Dallas, filed suit in Cole County against Missouri’s Health Facilities Review Committee and the Department of Health and Senior Services. The former rejected a certificate of need application on March 7 for Oceans to build a 60-bed psychiatric facility in south Columbia. ABC 17 News reported that day that the committee voted 5-2 to reject the plan on the basis of its location and failing to show it satisfied a need.
Oceans first proposed to build its $12.6 million facility on the northeast corner of Old 63 and Chinaberry Drive in south Columbia. After local opposition to the plan, Oceans said in March it would move the proposal to a site in north Columbia. Oceans initially said it would build its facility for inpatient and outpatient care for people 55 and older. Plan reviews ABC 17 News obtained from the Department of Health and Senior Services show Oceans was considering dropping the age to 35.
The new lawsuit, written by Jefferson City attorney Harvey Tettlebaum, said that nothing in state law “permits a project to be denied due to the proposed location of the project within the geographic service area.” That area covers eight counties, with four hospitals in the area providing psychiatric care.
The state’s Certificate of Need Program review said that Oceans’ only “partially documented” the community need of the hospital. While its formula showed that the service area is in need of 72 beds for psychiatric service, the report did not have occupancy numbers for St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City.
CenterPointe Hospital filed a letter of intent in February to build a 75-bed psychiatric hospital at the corner of Rangeline Street and International Drive – across the street from where the City of Columbia bought land for a new police station. CenterPointe’s letter says it will serve “adults, adolescents and children.” As of Thursday, CenterPointe had not submitted a certificate of need application to build.