Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 19,800+ case briefs...

Overlake Hospital Association v. Department of Health

Washington Supreme Court
239 P.3d 1096 (Wash. 2010)


Swedish Health Services (Swedish) (defendant) wanted to build a new ambulatory surgical facility for same-day or outpatient surgeries. In Washington, anyone wanting to build this type of surgical facility had to get a certificate of need (CON) from the Washington State Department of Health (the department) (defendant). The stated legislative purpose of the CON program was to guide healthcare-facility planning in a way that would provide accessible health services and promote citizen health. This meant balancing the need for more health facilities against the risk that excess facilities would drive up costs and actually reduce access to medical care. To assess the need for a proposed new same-day surgical facility, the department determined (1) the existing capacity and (2) the area’s projected surgical needs in three years. The department then calculated whether additional capacity was required to meet the estimated future needs. Private doctors and dentists sometimes had facilities for same-day surgeries that were available only to those providers’ patients. The department did not include these facilities in its count of existing surgical capacity for all citizens. However, the department did include the surgeries currently being performed at those facilities in its future-public-need calculations. Using this system, the department calculated that there was a need for 5.39 more same-day surgical beds in the area and granted Swedish a CON to build a five-bed ambulatory surgical facility. Overlake Hospital Association (Overlake) (plaintiff) and Evergreen Healthcare (Evergreen) (plaintiff) were medical providers that would be impacted by a new surgical facility in the area. Overlake and Evergreen sued, claiming that the department’s method was impermissibly arbitrary and capricious because it counted the private facilities in one part of its need calculation but not in the other part. The administrative health-law judge upheld the department’s process as a reasonable way to meet the goals of the CON program. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the methodology was arbitrary and capricious. The department and Swedish appealed the case to the Washington Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Alexander, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 510,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 510,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 19,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial