Crisp Regional CEO explains decision to appeal LCMC - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crisp Regional CEO explains decision to appeal LCMC

Crisp Regional filed an appeal (Source: WALB) Crisp Regional filed an appeal (Source: WALB)
Those against the hospital had 30 days to appeal (Source: WALB) Those against the hospital had 30 days to appeal (Source: WALB)
CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

Leaders from Crisp Regional spoke more about why they decided to appeal the Georgia Department of Community Health decision that would allow a new hospital in Lee County.

Crisp Regional CEO Steven Gautney spoke to WALB for the first time on camera since the hospital filed opposition to the project.

MORE: Crisp Regional Hospital to appeal approval of CON for Lee Co. Medical Center

Gautney emphasized that he's doing what he believes is in the best interest of his community and his hospital.

He said he's not worried about losing patients from Lee County or Dougherty County but is fearful that some of the commercially insured patients Crisp Regional serves will leave for the new hospital. 

He adds current projections from the Certificate of Need application estimate Crisp Regional will lose around five percent of those profitable customers. 

Gautney said that's a decrease of around $2 million a year. 

He adds that will bump up the percentage of indigent, Medicare and Medicaid patients Crisp Regional serves. Those are changes that could be more difficult to sustain financially. 

"Because we have a good deal of indigent and uncompensated care, we're probably going to have our community ask, why didn't you all file some kind of appeal to make sure," Gautney said. "So, I think this is a prudent reaction." 

Despite Lee County Commissioners initially saying they would "crush" any appeal to the hospital, a Crisp Regional press release states the Crisp Board of Trustees plans to work together with Lee County Medical Center leaders.

The release adds that if an agreement is reached, the appeal may be withdrawn. 

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