McDuffie Files Emergency Legislation to Empower D.C. Government to Act when Hospitals in D.C. Plan to Close

Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie Files Emergency Legislation to Empower D.C. Government to Act when Hospitals in D.C. Plan to Close

Legislation Follows Yesterday’s Roundtable on the D.C. Department of Health’s Role in Approving Providence Hospital’s Proposed Elimination of Acute Care Services

Legislation Clarifies the Agency’s Role and Responsibility When a Hospital in D.C. Seeks to Close

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie filed legislation, the “Clarification of Hospital Closure Procedure Emergency Amendment Act of 2018,” to provide clarity to the D.C. Department of Health and State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) of their role when a hospital in the District seeks to close. The legislation was co-introduced by Councilmember Vincent C. Gray, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health, and is expected to be voted on by the full Council at the Legislative Meeting on Tuesday, October 16.

With introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“In nearly nine hours of testimony at yesterday’s Committee on Health roundtable on Providence Hospital, I heard concerns about the planned closure from residents, doctors, nurses, employees, neighbors, policy experts, and executives of other D.C. hospitals. It is clear Providence Hospital plays a critical role in our community and in providing equitable healthcare access to residents throughout the District, in particular Ward 5 and the East End of the city.

“We also learned that the D.C. Department of Health and SHPDA lacked clarity to take action when District hospitals seek to close. This legislation would provide that clarity.

“I want to thank Councilmember Gray for holding yesterday’s roundtable and co-introducing this legislation with me. I renew my call for the leadership of Ascension Health, the world’s largest Catholic health system, to testify before the Council. I look forward to working with the D.C. Department of Health and SHPDA to ensure the needs of D.C. residents are served equitably.”