Rural Hospital Stabilization helps Adel hospital - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rural Hospital Stabilization helps Adel hospital

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Michael Purvis Michael Purvis
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ADEL, GA (WALB) -

With many rural hospitals in Georgia struggling, Governor Nathan Deal has established the Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee to find ways to keep these small hospitals open.

Cook Medical Center, formerly the Memorial Hospital of Adel, has been taking care of patients  for some 50 years.

CEO Michael Purvis says rural hospitals like Cook are faced with difficult decisions in order stay open.

He says one of the things they've done is choosing to no longer to deliver babies.

"We deliver them up in Tifton, that was a cost saving that has helped us cut about a million dollars off of our bottom line," says Purvis.

Another thing Cook did to stay open was join the Tift Regional Health System, two years ago.

"What that does is create a subsidy for us to operate. Most people say that you're operating in the red when you're operating with a loss, and those subsidies are growing faster than we can ever anticipate," says Purvis.

After the closure of four rural hospitals in the last two years in the state of Georgia, Purvis says the formation of the Rural Hospital Stabilization committee is a step in the right direction to making sure no more hospitals shut down.

"It does so in a non-traditional environment, by looking at free standing emergency rooms, ambulatory care centers, what is the future for rural health care, and I think this is a great jumping off point, and we look forward to the work of this committee," he says.

Whatever the future of rural hospitals, Purvis says keeping emergency care is vital.

"If I get in a wreck on interstate I-75 in rural Georgia, on a rural road, the likelihood of me surviving that wreck is decreased [compared] to Atlanta because there are more hospitals per capita and more trauma centers up in the Atlanta area," says Purvis.

Cook Medical center serves about 2000 patients a month.

 

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