Wellmont, Mountain States Certificate of Public Advantage application deemed complete

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – State health officials revealed on Monday afternoon the Certificate of Public Advantage application submitted by Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System has been deemed complete.

The region’s two major health care providers hope to merge, but they needed to submit a complete COPA application.

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner and the state’s attorney general Herbert H. Slatery III announced the COPA process will move forward.

“As we move into this next phase of the COPA process, TDH will work with the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether granting a COPA would provide an undisputable public benefit to the people of Northeast Tennessee,” Dreyzehner said.

TDH is currently working on a draft index that would require a “preventive approach to care and ensure measured improvements in population health.”

A public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m. EDT in the Northeast State Community College Auditorium located at 2425 Highway 75 in Blountville.

TDH will determine whether or not the likely benefits of a merger would outweigh any convincing evidence of any “disadvantages caused by a reduction in competition” in the region.

“Because this process is unprecedented, it was appropriate to accept and consider additional information at the applicants’ request,” Dreyzehner said. “We have received this additional information and look forward to evaluating it in the next phase of the process.”

Based on state law, the department has 120 days to consider whether granting a COPA meets legal requirements.

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