Palmyra to enter baby business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Palmyra to enter baby business

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany area mothers-to-be may soon have another place where they can have their babies delivered.

Palmyra Medical Centers announced Tuesday they sent a Letter of Intent to the Department of Community Health asking for approval to provide Level One Obstetrics Services.

If it's granted, Palmyra will have in-patient care for pregnant woman and newborns.

Right now, only Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is allowed to deliver babies in Albany.

"The community will have a choice, today there is but one choice. So we hope to offer better services, greater services and affordable services to our community that today we may or may not have," said Palmyra CEO Bud Wethington. 

This is the fourth time Palmyra has applied for this approval, but it's the first since the General Assembly passed a Certificate of Need Reform Bill.

It went into effect Tuesday and puts an end to health care monopolies on certain services.

It also now allows general surgeons to set up their own ambulatory surgical centers.

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  • Here is the full News Release from Palmyra-

ALBANY, GA - Palmyra Medical Center announced today it has filed a Letter of Intent with the Department of Community Health (DCH) to seek approval to provide Level One Obstetric Services to the people of Albany and southwest Georgia.

"We have heard loud and clear our community's call for choice in obstetrics," said Bud Wethington, CEO of Palmyra Medical Center. "There are fewer and fewer hospitals in  our region offering birthing options. We are pleased to take this step."

Basic Level One Obstetric Services would include basic inpatient care for pregnant women and newborns without complications, managing perinatal emergencies, consulting with and referring to specialty and subspecialty hospitals, identifying high-risk pregnancies, providing follow-up care for new mothers and infants, and providing public/community education on perinatal health.

Wethington added that Palmyra is also excited about what this opportunity means to physicians and businesses in the community who for years have sought an alternative. "We look forward to meeting this vital healthcare need," said Wethington. "The people of our community deserve a choice."

Palmyra officials said the formal application would be filed once DCH releases new Certificate of Need (CON) guidelines directing them how to proceed.