Doctors get a boost in C.O.N. spat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Doctors get a boost in C.O.N. spat

Posted: Updated:

January 24, 2008

Albany -- The Medical Association of Georgia has filed a motion to join in the lawsuit fight between the Georgia Alliance of Hospitals and the Department of Community Health over Certificate of Need laws.

The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, including both Phoebe Putney Hospital and Palmyra Medical Centers in Albany have filed suit to challenge the Department of Community Health's Board's right to declare that general surgeons can open up ambulatory surgery centers. 

The hospitals want the current C.O.N. Laws that forbids that to stay in place.

The Medical Association of Georgia says in their motion they want to stop Hospital Interference in doctors' practices.

"I think that the Medical Association of Georgia is very concerned that the Hospitals have used lawyers to control the C.O.N. Process now for years," said Albany Surgical President  Dr. Chris Smith. 

Georgia is the only state that does not recognized general surgeons as specialists, and give them the right to set up their own center.  The Department of Community Health recently voted to allow General Surgeons that privilege.  

The community hospitals sued to stop that ruling, saying the Department of Community Health did not have the right to make that change without legislative approval.

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