The CEO of a struggling South Georgia hospital says it must partner with a larger institution or shut the doors. Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton this week announced an agreement with the larger Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. C-E-O Martha Tatum says the partnership will keep the rural facility under local control while finding savings in Savannah-based personnel.
Calhoun Memorial Hospital, a small southwest Georgia facility, closed its doors Feb. 1. It collapsed under the cost of caring for patients who couldn’t pay. Some rural hospital advocates worry other small facilities face a similar fate in Georgia.
Hospitals in Georgia are suffering under the weight of the sluggish economy, and the financial strain is especially heavy for smaller, rural medical centers. Nearly half of the state’s rural hospitals are operating in the red, according to the latest hospital financial survey by the state Department of Community Health.
Non-profit hospitals want Georgia lawmakers to keep their hands off their tax breaks. A panel of lawmakers will make recommendations public next week that could re-write or eliminate a slew of state tax exemptions. An alliance of non-profit hospitals just released a report detailing how much Georgia gets back from non-profit hospitals for the tax breaks.
A statewide coalition of business and medical groups is launching television ads in support of a November ballot measure that would increase car tag fees. The ads push a state constitutional amendment that if passed, would raise car tag fees by $10 a year to pay for a statewide trauma care network.