Competition coming in healthcare? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Competition coming in healthcare?

Updated:
Rep. Ed Rynders Rep. Ed Rynders

December 13, 2007


Albany --  The Board of Community Health declares general surgery a single specialty in Georgia, which means it'll be easier for general surgeons to own and operate outpatient centers.

That could lead to lower health care costs for you, but some lawmakers say that decision should be left up to them.  Georgia is one of the few states that, until now, did not consider general surgery a single specialty. Surgeons have been prohibited from opening outpatient clinics where, they say they could perform outpatient procedures cheaper than they do at hospitals.

"Many of us in the house are sensitive to that particular issue and support the general surgeons in the name of competition," said Lee County GOP Rep. Ed Rynders. "This is really a question of whether it's the Department of Community health's decision or the general assembly's decision."

House members were expected to vote on the proposal last year, but sent it back to committee at the last minute. Earlier this week, the House Health and Services Committee voted to oppose the Board of Community Health's authority to make such a decision.

Rynders isn't sure what the legislature's next move might be.

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