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D.C. sues Providence, alleges hospital lacks approval to scale back

The D.C. government is suing Providence Health System, alleging the Northeast D.C. hospital violated the terms of its newly renewed license by scaling back many of its services Friday.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in D.C. Superior Court by District Attorney General Karl Racine on behalf of the city, claims Providence and nonprofit owner St. Louis-based Ascension Health ended services without the approval of the State Health Planning and Development Agency, the D.C. Health regulatory body. It throws even more uncertainty upon the already heavily debated closure of a hospital that serves many lower-income residents.

Providence, which had originally intended to close all operations Friday in favor of an outpatient-focused “health village,” pivoted away from that plan in early December after pushback from city and community officials. Instead, it agreed to continue to run its emergency department and 10 inpatient beds for less severe medical cases through April 30 with plans to end ambulance…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.