James Sept-Oct 2021 web - Flipbook - Page 65
percent of applications to open new healthcare facilities
testing, hosted blood drives, provided COVID-19 eduor services. That’s a system that balances flexibility with
cation, staffed COVID-19 hotlines, erected mobile units
the need to preserve access to high-quality care, protect
to expand bed capacity, developed expedited COVID-19
patients, and reduce costs.
testing and performed novel research.
In 2019, Georgia’s nonprofit hospitals provided over
Our nonprofit hospitals remained open 24/7/365,
$5.5 billion in indigent and charity care, greatly exceeding
while the for-profit surgery centers, imaging centers, and
their commitments. In contrast, profit-driven ambulatory
other nonessential facilities shut down.
surgery centers throughGeorgia’s nonprofout Georgia were assessed
it, safety-net hospitals
millions in fines for failing
operate for patients, not
Georgia’s Certificate of Need laws play
to serve enough financially
profits, which benefits all
a key role in stabilizing healthcare
Georgians, rich or poor,
Preserving local access
insured or uninsured.
delivery systems that provide access
to emergency and other
Those pushing to
lifesaving care is just as imrepeal our hospital proto all patients and broad-based,
portant to Georgians with
tections seek profit for the
essential services to their communities.
good coverage as is it to
few at the expense of the
the uninsured. Georgia unmany— people like Lacofortunately ranks in the top
nyea Lynn of Albany.
five states for rural hospital closures, with an additional
As Lynn left Phoebe, she was ready to get outdoors
27 percent of Georgia’s existing rural hospitals identified
and had one wish. When the chairman of the Phoebe
as “at risk.”
Foundation heard she just wanted to go fishing, he took
Last year saw plenty of emergencies. Georgia’s safeher. They celebrated their catch and they celebrated a life
ty net hospitals fought COVID while continuing to care
saved by a community hospital.
for non-COVID patients. Georgia’s nonprofit hospitals
and their healthcare heroes offered screening sites and
Monty Veazey of Tifton is the president and CEO of the Georgia Alliance
surge tents, added ICU beds, conducted drive-through
of Community Hospitals.
SEPTEMBER/ OCTOB E R 2021