Following a yearlong petition by Christ Hospital, an administrative law judge ruled June 16 the provider could build its $24 million outpatient surgery center in Fort Mitchell.

According to reporting by Anne Saker for the Enquirer, the ruling came down to Christ Hospital’s certificate-of-need application, which argues that the new center would benefit the population living in the Northern Kentucky Area Development District.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the leading provider in the area and fought Christ Hospital on the proposal, arguing the Cincinnati-based company would pick well-insured patients over those on Medicaid. St. Elizabeth has announced it will appeal the decision. As the dominant provider in the region, others have cited the need for more competition in Northern Kentucky.