State officials have adopted rules to establish stand-alone emergency medical centers in Alabama.
The rules are also expected to regulate the stand-alone emergency rooms, which are typically miles from their parent hospitals.
Stand-alone emergency departments don't exist in the state yet, although three in the Birmingham area have already been approved for construction.
The Alabama Certificate of Need review board approved stand-alone emergency rooms for the Brookwood Medical Center in September 2010 and the Baptist Health System and UAB Medical West in November 2012.
A spokesman for Brookwood says their planned 19,000 square-foot facility could be completed within about a year after a lawsuit from Trinity Medical Center is resolved.
The case is before the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.