"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Business Unfriendly

This morning as I was listening to the radio, I heard Allegany County Commissioner Creade Brodie talk about his meeting last week with the State Highway Administration (SHA).  He spoke of projects that are a well behind schedule and mired in over-regulation by SHA.  

As I listened, I was reminded of the challenges that WMHS had as we were building the new hospital on Willowbrook Road.  SHA was an obstacle pretty much every step of the way.   I finally said enough is enough and told them that we would not be paying for roundabouts at the I-68 interchange nor would we be paying to have sidewalks installed from I-68 to the new hospital along Willowbrook Road for the less than ten people walking on average each day.  WMHS was expected to pay millions of dollars, beyond what we had to pay as it was, to accomplish SHA's master plan for road improvements in western Maryland.  They were told that if they persisted, I would go public with how they were single handedly trying to ensure that a new hospital would never be built in Cumberland.  Finally, reasonableness prevailed and they backed off of their demand for roundabouts at the I-68 interchange and sidewalks along Willowbrook Road.  WMHS was still required to pay for the road improvements related to the new hospital and sidewalks to Allegany College, but the craziness finally stopped. 

Recently, I was at a meeting with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and I had the opportunity to talk about the over-regulation in Maryland, specifically SHA.  He was empathetic and said that he would tackle that issue if elected as he was well aware of the challenges that exist to create new business in Maryland.  Maybe, help is on the way.

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