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Even a 10-bed hospital too much of a threat

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In a sign of how scared big hospitals are of competition, and how officials go along with them, consider how BJC HealthCare got public officials to block a competitor’s bid to build a tiny, 10-bed hospital in Columbia, Mo.

University of Missouri Healthcare and its partner Nueterra, a Kansas-based healthcare-management firm,  wanted  to build the mainly surgical hospital near Highway 63 and Discovery Parkway.

But Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee rejected them by a vote of 5-2, apparently because the  project would have been only about five miles from Boone Hospital Center, BJC’s 397-bed hospital in Columbia.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch said that “the past, BJC, the largest employer in St. Louis, has adamantly opposed projects that aim to offer only specific services, and especially those with a focus on surgeries.”

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