Crisp Regional Hospital files letter of opposition to Lee Co. Me - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crisp Regional Hospital files letter of opposition to Lee Co. Medical Center

The proposed Lee Co. Hospital (Source: Freese Johnson) The proposed Lee Co. Hospital (Source: Freese Johnson)
CRISP CO., GA (WALB) -

In a letter submitted to the Department of Community Health, Crisp Regional Hospital officially filed a notice of opposition for the proposed Lee County Medical Center.

The opposition was filed September 7 by the President and CEO of Crisp Regional Hospital, Steven Gautney.

This is the first hospital to oppose the medical center, although it is already facing opposition from Dougherty County commissioners.

Crisp Regional Hospital released this statement:

Crisp Regional is a “safety net” hospital serving one of Georgia’s most vulnerable patient populations.  In 2016, 19% of services rendered, were to patients whose source of payment was Medicaid and another 10% of services were rendered to uninsured patients.  The total costs of uncompensated care in 2016 at Crisp Regional was $7.4 million.  In the CON application Lee County Medical Center anticipates that 5% of its volume will come from Crisp County, but this volume is anticipated to be commercially insured patients that are crucial to offset losses incurred by existing Medicaid and uninsured patients.  The proposed Lee County Medical Center will unbalance the delicate mix of patients that allows Crisp Regional to serve the underserved.

According to the State’s own objective calculations, the region already has many more hospital beds than are currently needed.  Adding additional beds will only worsen the existing shortage of physicians and other health care providers, doing nothing to improve access to health care services or to help our region’s poor and indigent citizens.

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Crisp Regional Hospital, Inc. filed a formal notice with the State Department of Community Health, indicating our opposition to the proposed Lee County hospital proposal, which would be operated by out-of-state corporations seeking to make profits for its investors.  Rather than expanding access to health care services and reinvesting in the community the proposed hospital in Lee County would negatively impact the health care delivery system in the region our hospital serves and would threaten the viability of existing not-for-profit community hospitals, such as Crisp Regional. 

 “While Crisp Regional is well established in meeting the health care needs of the residents of Crisp County and surrounding counties, it also plays an integral role in protecting our area’s economic health,” said Steven Gautney, CEO of Crisp Regional Hospital.  “The proposed Lee County hospital could potentially damage the healthcare and economic viability of our county and surrounding counties.”

Per the regulatory process, Crisp Regional will submit a more detailed opposition statement to the State, detailing the many reasons why this proposed project should be denied.  Crisp Regional respects the interests of all citizens to access quality healthcare.  The existing hospitals in the region are fulfilling that role by serving all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

Below is a copy of the notice of opposition:

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