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Court's ruling supports MCG

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A legal fight over the construction of a new surgery center in Columbia County could be nearing an end.

On Nov. 24, the Court of Appeals of Georgia denied a request to appeal filed by University Hospital and Doctors Hospital Surgery Center. The two sued in an attempt to keep the Medical College of Georgia Physicians Practice Group Foundation from building a $34 million stand-alone surgery center in Columbia County.

The hospitals can still ask the Court of Appeals to reconsider and ask the Georgia Supreme Court for permission to appeal within 10 days, said the Physicians Practice Group's attorney Patrick Rice.

The planned surgery center, to be named MCG Medical Associates Ambulatory Center, has been a matter of contention since April 2008 when the physicians group began its quest to obtain a Certificate of Need. The certificate is required for any new institutional health-services provider.

The Department of Community Health, which rules on the Certificate of Need, initially approved the physicians group's request. After University and Doctors hospitals challenged the ruling, the department changed its position. The MCG physicians group then appealed and the department's ruling was reversed in the physicians group's favor.

University and Doctors hospitals then filed suit in Richmond County Superior Court. On Sept. 30, Judge James G. Blanchard ruled against the hospitals because he didn't find that the department's final decision to award the Certificate of Need was arbitrary. In his order, the judge wrote he could not substitute his judgment in place of the Department of Community Health.

The MCG physician group convinced the department that its ability to provide ambulatory surgery services for poor and low-income people in Columbia County and the surrounding area was an overriding reason to approve the center even though there is a surplus of such services.

The plans for the new center include three operating rooms, two procedure rooms, an imaging center with a CT scanner and a clinic with 45 exam rooms.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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justus4
99
Points
justus4 12/01/09 - 06:36 am
0
0
With the passage of health
Unpublished

With the passage of health care reform, these guys may be proved to have been too smart by half, because its obvious that the targeted population may have other options by the time this thing is built.

Notreally
4
Points
Notreally 12/01/09 - 07:48 am
0
0
This could be good, having

This could be good, having this hospital there will cut down on travel to Disgusta.

deborah30906
5
Points
deborah30906 12/01/09 - 07:55 am
0
0
That they provide services

That they provide services for poor and low-income people is a crock. They're out for money just like anyone.

2 B JUST ME
0
Points
2 B JUST ME 12/01/09 - 12:01 pm
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0
YEA bring HOUSE on staff.

YEA bring HOUSE on staff.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 12/01/09 - 12:15 pm
0
0
Every time another of these

Every time another of these "convenience store", "strip mall", "satellite hospitals" are built, our medical cost for services increase. Convenience may be great, but at what cost. Where does it end. Should we all have our own "free standing" medical center. It could be next to our own gas station, pharmacy, grocery/deli, multiplex, convention/aquatic center. Excessive overhead and duplication are not the way to reduce health care cost.

jackrabbit5491
0
Points
jackrabbit5491 12/01/09 - 04:14 pm
0
0
Perhaps the MCG Health Inc

Perhaps the MCG Health Inc CEO's departure was influenced by his (understandable) policy of attempting to minimize health care to the poor and medically indigent. Inevitably, the MCG patient population declined. In conflict with this MCG Health policy, it appears the MCG physician group believes that the only way for them to expand is to outreach to the poor, however. Furthermore, possibly, this (old-pre-Kroc) Salvation Army style outreach, might really be an example of "bait and switch;" certainly insured, paying patients/clients will not be turned away.

gus0426
0
Points
gus0426 12/01/09 - 10:07 pm
0
0
It's all about $$$$. You can

It's all about $$$$. You can count on that. Medicine is big business.

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