Tue., November 24, 2009 2:05pm (EST)

Hospital Turf War Sparks In NE Ga.
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Ty Cobb Healthcare wants to build a new hospital in Lavonia, Georgia.
Ty Cobb Healthcare wants to build a new hospital in Lavonia, Georgia.
In a battle for patients, a hospital turf war has sparked in northeast Georgia. Officials with a Toccoa hospital object to a proposed hospital planned for nearby Lavonia.

Ty Cobb Healthcare has been given the go-ahead by state health officials. The so-called "certificate of need" allows for the construction of a 56-bed hospital in Franklin County. Cobb officials say they could then close two of their underperforming facilities in Hartwell and Royston.

Stephens County Hospital officials are not happy. They claim an overlap in the patient coverage area would hurt them financially. Their hospital in Toccoa would be less than 20 miles away from the planned Lavonia facility.

But officials with Ty Cobb Healthcare say the state’s approval confirms the need for another facility in the region. Stephens County hospital officials have 30 days to file an appeal for an official hearing in the matter.

This tug-of-war continues a trend of fighting between rural hospital providers trying to protect thin profit margins. A proposed new hospital for the city of Braselton remains in legal-limbo with opposition from Barrow Regional Medical Center officials.