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Monday, September 19, 2011 - 10:57am

Hospitals Push Expansions

Despite a still shaky economy, multi-million dollar hospital expansion projects are moving ahead across the state. For some hospitals, there’s no choice.

In Paulding County, planning for a replacement hospital is underway at a cost of more than $100 million. Expansion projects in Albany, Cartersville, metro Atlanta, and elsewhere in the state are also in the works.

Hospital CEO’s say they need to serve a growing and aging population, and fight-off competitors for future patients.

Randy Sauls says his hospital’s costs have gone up to pay for patients who can’t pay their medical bills. But the CEO of South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta calls his new $67 million patient tower ‘need-based expansion’.

“Even though the economy is uncertain, there is enough certainty and demand and expectation, that we feel confident moving forward with these projects.”

Sauls says he’s working to lock-in bond funding to support his project.

The most recent survey by the Georgia Hospital Association shows more than a third of the state’s hospitals are losing money.