Most counties depend on rural hospitals -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Most counties depend on rural hospitals

The hospital in Arlington closed in February The hospital in Arlington closed in February

Small, rural hospitals are feeling the squeeze of higher costs, and lower government reimbursements from state and federal government.  In fact, the Hospital in Arlington closed its doors permanently in February of this year.

Administrator Earl Whitely said that the crushing blow to the hospital's bottom line in the form of $1.8 Million in unreimbursed indigent care in the last year is most to blame.

The citizens of Calhoun County lost access to nearby medical care, and 70 people lost their jobs as a result.

More than two million Georgians count on the services of physicians, hospitals and health care providers who provide critical health services in rural Georgia. The Georgia Department of Community Health's (DCH) State Office of Rural Health (SORH) serves Georgia's 109 counties that have populations of less than 35,000.

Georgia has 63 hospitals located in rural counties; 31 of these are Critical Access Hospitals. Twenty-seven Federally Qualified Health Centers provide 180 access points for health care.

Georgia is joining the nation to celebrate the third annual Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 21. The commemoration will recognize the contributions of physicians, hospitals and other health care providers who deliver health care to hundreds of thousands of underserved people in rural areas of the nation.

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) provides access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Georgians, including some of the state's uninsured and most vulnerable populations.

DCH is responsible for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids,® the State Health Benefit Plan, Healthcare Facility Regulation and Health Information Technology in Georgia.




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