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Safety Net

Deal may save faltering Clayton hospital

Last month, a consulting firm was hired to find a financial partner to rescue the ailing Southern Regional Medical Center.

img-stock-IMG_2483It looks like a match has been made.

Prime Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit based in California, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Riverdale hospital. The Clayton County commissioners approved that letter Tuesday.

The parties will move toward negotiating and executing the terms of an acquisition of Southern Regional. The health system’s board and the local hospital authority must sign off on the deal.

Southern Regional, saddled with a heavy burden of uncompensated care, has been in danger of closing its doors.  full story

Poll finds big gaps in rural health care

Most rural Georgia residents in a new survey say they have experienced problems with the affordability of health insurance and the cost of health care.

Healthcare CostWhen asked the biggest problem facing local health care, 68 percent named cost, with quality of care and access to care trailing far behind, according to the survey of 491 people. It was conducted by Opinion Savvy and commissioned by Healthcare Georgia Foundation.

The poll may be the first to focus entirely on rural health care issues in Georgia. It comes in the wake of four rural hospital closings in the state since the beginning of 2013.

Those hospitals closed due to financial problems, and the economic and medical effects of their loss have drawn the attention of Georgia’s political leadership.

Across America, rural residents generally lag far behind people in other areas when it comes to health and quality of medical care.  full story

Day care centers for fragile children to close

A metro Atlanta firm is closing its five Georgia day care facilities for medically fragile children.

Pediatria HealthCare, headquartered in Norcross, notified state officials this month that the closings are coming.

pediatriaPediatria’s president, Joe Harrelson, told GHN on Thursday that after the closings, no day care facilities for medically fragile kids will remain in the state.

He said the closures are a reaction to state Medicaid officials’ becoming much more restrictive on allowing coverage for children to get medical day care services.

Three of the facilities are in metro Atlanta — Tucker, Smyrna and Stockbridge — while the others are in Columbus and Savannah.    full story

A good omen for Georgia Medicaid waiver plan?

An Ohio program that gave insurance to thousands of low-income patients helped them improve on health measures and also produced unexpectedly low costs, according to a study published Tuesday.

MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland

MetroHealth Medical Center

Those findings may have a significant impact in Georgia.

State officials are considering a proposal from Grady Health System in Atlanta to extend coverage to uninsured Georgians through a special Medicaid “waiver.’’ Grady officials say the waiver program would be modeled after the Cleveland MetroHealth Care Plus program.

The study, in the journal Health Affairs, analyzed the impact of the Care Plus program, which gave 28,295 Cuyahoga County residents Medicaid coverage for 11 months in 2013.  full story

Ailing Riverdale hospital in financial talks

The CEO of struggling Southern Regional Medical Center said Thursday that the hospital is having discussions with possible financial partners.

Kim Ryan

Kim Ryan

“We have some companies interested in us about being a capital partner,’’ Kim Ryan told GHN on Thursday.

Ryan said these potential partners are health care companies, but she did not identify them further.

This type of external funding is Southern Regional’s “best hope” of survival, she said, adding that she is optimistic that a partner will be found.  full story

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