Piedmont Medical Center can move forward with plans to build a hospital in Fort Mill after a decision by the S.C. Supreme Court, the hospital confirmed Thursday.

The 12-year battle over rights to build a hospital here appears to be over after the court denied Atrium Health’s request to block PMC from building its hospital in Fort Mill.

PMC CEO Mark Nosacka celebrated the news Thursday afternoon in downtown Fort Mill, surrounded by reporters and city officials. “I have just one thing to say: We won!” he said. “We have been fighting this good fight for 15 years. “

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The court decision ends a long battle in the S.C. Supreme Court between Charlotte-based Atrium Health and Piedmont Medical Center.

   A little background:

    • Piedmont had received approval for its proposed $170 million hospital in Fort Mill. Atrium has been trying to reverse that decision.

   • In South Carolina, the state controls medical facility and equipment expansions through a “certificate of need” process to make sure health-care systems can properly serve a population.

• In 2004, South Carolina determined a need and opened up a process that welcomed bids. That process resulted in a long court fight between several bidders, eventually ending in a two-company fight after others dropped out.

• York County needs 298 general hospital beds by 2023, according to the 2018-19 State Medical Facilities Plan. But PMC’s Rock Hill location has 268 beds, and city officials said residents should not have to travel to receive health care.

   • Last Fall, Atrium filed its second petition for the S.C. Supreme Court to review the case and see if the state erred in awarding the project to Piedmont.

  • Once construction begins, the PMC hospital could take up to two years to complete at a cost of approximately $170 million.

  • Piedmont Medical purchased a 40-acre site for $11 million in 2006 at the intersection of S.C. Highway 160 and U.S. Highway 21 for the planned hospital.

• Besides Piedmont’s Rock Hill hospital, the closest acute-care hospital is in Pineville. Piedmont recently announced plans to to add emergency-care services in Fort Mill as part of a separate construction project.

Of course, Atrium could appeal the state’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stay tuned…

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Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...

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