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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
McLeod Regional Medical Center vs. SCDHEC et al.

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

PARTIES:
Petitioner:
McLeod Regional Medical Center

Respondent:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and QHG Of South Carolina, Inc., d/b/a Carolinas Hospital System
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
95-ALJ-07-0132-CC

APPEARANCES:
Harold W. Jacobs and Susan A. Lake, for Petitioner

Henry L. Parr, Jr., for Respondent QHG of South Carolina

Thomas Eppink, for Respondent South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
 

ORDERS:

ORDER

This matter comes before me pursuant to several motions raised by the parties. A hearing on all outstanding motions in this matter was held on September 7, 1995. Upon consideration of the issues raised by the parties, I make the following determinations:

I. PARAMETERS OF DISCOVERY

Pursuant to ALJD Rule 21, I hereby lift the restriction on the number of depositions which may be taken by each party. I further direct that interrogatories other than the standard interrogatories provided by SCRCP 33(b) are hereby permitted. These rulings shall apply to all discovery requests heretofore made in this case, regardless of the form of the request.

II. QHG'S MOTION TO COMPEL

Following the hearing of August 1, 1995 on QHG's motion to compel McLeod to comply with QHG's request for production of documents, McLeod produced a computer summary of information in an effort to respond to QHG's Requests 13, 9(f), 9(c), 15(m), 10, 12(d), 9(g), 15(a), 15(b), 15(c), and 15(o). Thereafter, QHG renewed its motion to compel as to these requests, stating that McLeod's responses were insufficient.

Upon consideration of the issues presented by the parties, McLeod is hereby ordered to designate with specificity the costs which constitute the "fixed costs" in its computer summaries. In all other respects, I find that McLeod, through the provision of the computer summaries, has complied with QHG's Request 13, 9(f), 9(c), 9(d), 15(m), 10 and 12(d). Accordingly, except as set forth above, QHG's motion to compel is denied as to these requests. McLeod is hereby ordered to make its chief financial officer, H.E. McCutchen, Jr., and its Record Management Engineer, Karen Welch, available for depositions at a time and place to be mutually agreed upon by the parties, in order to explain the data contained in the computer summaries.

With respect to QHG's Requests 9(g), 15(a), 15(b), 15(c), and 15(o), McLeod is hereby ordered to provide QHG with a breakdown of its payor mix both for McLeod Regional Medical Center as a whole and for its radiation oncology department, to the extent that it has not already done so. To the extent QHG's motion to compel as to these requests seeks information other than that listed above or that which has already been provided in the computer summaries, it is hereby denied.

III. MCLEOD'S MOTION TO COMPEL

Upon consideration of the issues presented by the parties, I make the following determinations:

A. Definition of Respondent

QHG of South Carolina, Inc., is hereby deemed the successor in interest to Carolinas Hospital System, Inc., Florence General Hospital, and Bruce Hospital, and is hereby ordered to respond to all discovery requests on behalf of those entities. Where any documents requested are not in the possession of QHG, QHG is ordered to indicate, to the best of its knowledge, the name and address of the entity which has possession of such documents.

B. Objections to the Form of the Requests

For the reasons set forth in Part I above, QHG's objections as to the form of the question regarding Requests 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, and 26 are hereby overruled.

C. Documents Carolinas (QHG) Will Produce under Confidentiality Agreements

QHG represents that it has produced all documents which it possesses in response to McLeod's Requests 1,2,3,4, and 21. QHG is hereby ordered to review its responses in light of the Court's ruling as to the definition of the respondent and to comply with that ruling. McLeod's motion to compel as to Request 10 will be addressed separately.

D. Specific Requests

1. Request 5. QHG represents that it has complied with this request. QHG is hereby ordered to review its response and to comply with the Court's ruling as to the definition of respondent.

2. Request 8. QHG is ordered to produce the reports of its experts who are expected to testify at the hearing in this case. McLeod's motion to compel is hereby denied as to any experts consulted by QHG who will not testify at the hearing, as it has not made the requisite showing of exceptional circumstances which would warrant the discovery of this information, pursuant to SCRCP 26(b)(4)(A).

3. Request 9. QHG has agreed to comply with this request.

4. Request 10. As to this request, QHG is hereby ordered to provide all documents relating to its payor mix and percentage of indigent care it has provided since it acquired the hospitals and the percentage of care provided in the previous two fiscal years for its entire hospital system. To the extent that McLeod's motion to compel as to this request seeks information other than that set forth above, it is hereby denied.

5. Requests 14 and 15. As to these requests, QHG is hereby ordered to provide all documents which reveal the number of cancer patients treated by the Carolinas Hospital System and its predecessors since QHG has acquired the hospitals and for the previous two fiscal years. QHG is further ordered to provide a list of current charges for services to cancer patients. I find that this information is relevant in light of QHG's assertions in its application for a Certificate of Need regarding its volume of inpatients with malignant neoplasm and comparing its patient charges to those of McLeod.

6. Request 16. As to this request, QHG is hereby ordered to provide all documents which reveal the number of inpatients transferred to any other hospital for radiation therapy, and the entity to which these patients were transferred. To the extent that records relating to transfers from Carolinas Hospital System are already in the possession of McLeod, QHG is not required to provide these documents.

7. Request 20. QHG is hereby ordered to respond to this request.

8. Request 25. QHG has represented that no documents exist which are responsive to this request. QHG is ordered to examine its response in light of the Court's ruling regarding the definition of respondent and to supplement its response if necessary.

9. Request 26. QHG is hereby ordered to respond to this request only as to supervisory personnel involved in the administration or implementation of Respondent's indigent care plan. To the extent that McLeod's motion to compel seeks information other than that set forth above, it is hereby denied.

10. Request 27. QHG has represented that it has no studies or consultant's reports pertaining to the provision of indigent care. QHG is ordered to examine its response in light of the Court's ruling regarding the definition of respondent and to supplement its response if necessary. To the extent that this request seeks information other than studies or consultant's reports, the issues raised in McLeod's motion to compel as to this request have been resolved in my ruling on Request 10.

11. Request 30. QHG is hereby ordered to comply with this request. To the extent that QHG is not in possession of the documents requested, QHG is hereby ordered to designate the name and address of the entity which is in possession of such documents.

QHG's responses to the foregoing requests may be provided in summary form, similar to the information provided by McLeod; or by making the documents available to McLeod at a time and place to be mutually agreed upon by the parties, under the terms of the Protective Order of September 7, 1995.

IV. QHG'S MOTION TO STRIKE PROPOSED EXPERT TESTIMONY

I find that the information provided by McLeod concerning the subject of proposed expert testimony is adequate. Therefore, QHG's Motion to Strike is hereby denied.



V. STATUS CONFERENCE

A telephone status conference in this matter will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 15, 1995. Counsel for Petitioner is responsible for initiating the call. At this time, further discovery deadlines will be set, including deadlines for the production of documents and information as set forth above; the exchange of information concerning witnesses; and for the completion of discovery.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.

____________________________________

STEPHEN P. BATES

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

September 13, 1995

Columbia, South Carolina


Brown Bldg.

 

 

 

 

 

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