South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
MRI at Belfair, LLC vs. SCDHEC, et al

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

PARTIES:
Petitioner:
MRI at Belfair, LLC

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Coastal
Carolina Medical Center
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
07-ALJ-07-0021-CC

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

This matter came before me on a petition by MRI at Belfair, LLC (Belfair) for review of the August 4, 2006, decision (August Decision) of the Department of Health and Environmental Control (Department) to allow Coastal Carolina Medical Center (Hospital) to utilize a mobile magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit (Mobile MRI) while it was implementing its Certificate of Need (CON) for a fixed MRI unit at the Hospital. Afterwards, the Hospital made a Motion to Dismiss the case and Belfair moved for Summary Judgment.

Following those motions, the Hospital requested that the Department amend the Hospital’s existing CON to allow it to convert the 1.5 Tesla Mobile MRI unit from its temporary mobile configuration to a permanent fixed configuration on the ground that the change did not constitute a substantial change to the CON. The Department approved that request on June 22, 2007.[1] The Court is informed that the Hospital has since implemented the conversion of the MRI unit to its permanent configuration and that the Department has deemed the Hospital complete as to its existing CON. The Court is also informed that Belfair has appealed the Department’s June 22, 2007 decision to both the Board of Health and Environmental Control and the Administrative Law Court.

In Sloan v. Friends of Hunley, Inc., 369 S.C. 20, 630 S.E.2d 474 (2006), the Supreme Court held that “[a] moot case exists where a judgment rendered by the court will have no practical legal effect upon an existing controversy because an intervening event renders any grant of effectual relief impossible for the reviewing court.” Here, because the Mobile MRI was converted to a permanent fixed configuration, the Mobile MRI is no longer operating pursuant to the August Decision. Review of the Department’s authority to authorize the Hospital’s temporary use of a MRI is thus pointless, now rendering this matter moot.

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the above-captioned case is DISMISSED with prejudice.

________________________________

Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

July 13, 2007

Columbia, South Carolina



[1] A hearing concerning the above motions was held on June 19, 2007. However, before this Court issued a ruling, the Department approved the change to the CON.


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