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No ER for Evans, state rules

State says freestanding facility unnecessary

Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 6:17 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 2:22 AM
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There will not be a freestanding emergency room in Evans from University Hospital or Doctors Hospital, the state ruled Friday.

“The request was denied,” said Pamela Keene, a spokeswoman for the Georgia De­partment of Community Health, which oversees the cer­tificate of need program for the state. Details will not be available until next week, she said.

A University Hospital official who saw the decision said it boiled down to “Colum­bia County doesn’t have a problem accessing an ER,” spokeswoman Rebecca Sylvester said. In the state’s view, “it really wasn’t needed,” she said.

Doctors CEO Doug Welch said he would wait for confirmation on part of the decision, which would likely be Monday, before commenting.

County officials had been hoping at least one proposal would go through and are disappointed, county com­mission Chairman Ron Cross said. County officials met with their state legislative delegation about two weeks ago in hopes they might be able to help, and there might need to be “legislative action to get something done,” Cross said.

Doctors Hospital had sought to build a $9.8 million, 12-bed facility with a trauma room across from Marshall Square on North Belair Road. University wanted to add a $9.67 million, 18-bed facility with five trauma rooms to its nearby Evans campus on North Belair.

The applications were filed within a couple of weeks of each other last year, and the state considered them together.

The decision was not unexpected because the state has never granted permission for a freestanding emergency room before, though many states do, including South Carolina.

A similar petition was denied in December from Eastside Medical Center in Snell­ville to build a freestanding ER in nearby Walton County; however, that application was opposed by local hospitals and some residents in the county, a University official has said previously.

Columbia County officials hope to look at the decision Monday and meet with legislators to see whether there is potential to proceed, Cross said.

Though Doctors Hospital is close to the county line, it is difficult to reach from many parts of the county, he said.

“It’s still not an ideal situation as far as very prompt emergency care,” Cross said.

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Young Fred
17448
Points
Young Fred 01/25/13 - 07:31 pm
8
0
Exactly why does a

Exactly why does a municipality have to get permission from the state to open an ER? I would think anyone qualified could open an ER anywhere they damn well please! Are there perhaps state funds that would be involved? If so, could a private company open an ER if they received no tax monies?

ss30809
44
Points
ss30809 01/25/13 - 07:35 pm
6
1
Obviously the state is not in

Obviously the state is not in touch with the local emergency department censuses...MCG/GHSU/GRU/Talmadge (lol) Emergency Room alone set new records for ED visits in the last two months. And from my experience working in several area emergency rooms...it seems more and more CSRA citizens seem to be using the ERs for their primary care.

Another ER would help ease pt. congestion in the ERs that the CSRA already has.

jeff scott
151
Points
jeff scott 01/25/13 - 07:47 pm
4
1
Why? Because they said so...

There may be several, if not dozens of logistical reasons that probably have some measure of truth, but ultimately, it comes down to control and authority and the fear of some to have their slice of the power even remotely compromised in any way. Approval would have potentially diluted some of it. Where SC is progressive with its conservative values, GA is hamstrung by its conservatism.....the old guard has got to go.

itsanotherday1
43013
Points
itsanotherday1 01/25/13 - 07:50 pm
6
1
Ditttos to both comments.

Ditttos to both comments. This is a huge setback for ColCo. Trust me, if you are having chest pains, it is a LONG ride to downtown. I've already made that trek in the middle of the night with a family member. What about folks in Lincoln County and those in ColCo up around the lake?

Just My Opinion
5627
Points
Just My Opinion 01/25/13 - 08:29 pm
4
1
Sounds to me like the local,

Sounds to me like the local, county, AND state government go-to guys need to earn their money and start putting pressure on whoever it is that has the authority to say yea or nay. With enough publicity and pressure, this authority will be forced to address this issue more than just telling us it's not needed. I hope this is not a done deal.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/25/13 - 08:42 pm
5
1
We need it. There is nothing

We need it. There is nothing open 24/7 for quick emergency/trauma care in this county.

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 01/25/13 - 08:47 pm
0
0
What?
Unpublished

I'm not sure what you all are complaining about. After all we have GRU.

nycweeks
41
Points
nycweeks 01/25/13 - 09:50 pm
8
3
Evans deserves ER as much as high crime areas in Augusta

Why do gangsters shooting and maiming each other in town have instant access to high-quality, life-saving emergency care, while Evans and other Columbia County residents have to wait possibly over the critical "golden hour" to receive emergency care? We will pay, avoid high-risk behavior, and try to avoid becoming a burden on the system. The Certificate of Need program is outdated and counter-productive for the needs of Georgians. Write your congressmen and demand the abandonment of the CON program. The people and the free market know where services are needed.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/25/13 - 09:54 pm
4
2
Excellent comment, nycweeks.

Excellent comment, nycweeks.

galaxygrl
1197
Points
galaxygrl 01/25/13 - 10:41 pm
5
2
ER in Columbia County

I agree we need at least one on Columbia County. If you have come from the lake or Lincolnton it could save a life. My husband almost didn't make it to Doctor's Hospital last fall. One of these locations would have been much closer!

galaxygrl
1197
Points
galaxygrl 01/25/13 - 10:44 pm
5
1
Driving to The Hospital

Itsanotherday,
Don't let someone drive you to the hospital. Only 23% of people having a widow maker heart attack make it when a family member drives them. Call for help! It could save your life.

GiantsAllDay
9582
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/26/13 - 12:36 am
5
3
Government controls

Government controls everything right? If you live in Columbia county and wake up in the middle of the night with a kidney stone attach, just drive down to downtown Augusta to MCG or where ever and get in line with all the gang bangers. GEEZUS H KU--RIST!!

thauch12
6584
Points
thauch12 01/26/13 - 01:31 am
6
2
Why doesn't someone just

Why doesn't someone just build a full-service hospital in Columbia County? The area could certainly support one and it sure would be better than heading to decrepit downtown Augusta for medical care...

drpijuan
4
Points
drpijuan 01/26/13 - 06:33 am
2
1
No need to spend $10 Millions

Evans needs and ER!!!!!! Instead of spending $10 Millions in a new facility, the county should purchase a vacant building (for example, Rhodes-Murphy building, strategically and centrally located at Ronald Reagan Rd) and offer it to these Hospitals for a long term rental agreement......

Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 01/26/13 - 09:38 am
5
1
Keep in Mind

So we get a patient with a ruptured aortic aneursym who needs surgery immediately or a patient having a heart attack who needs an angioplasty immediately and they are sent to a stand alone emergency room without the necessary services available. There is a danger with stand alone emergency rooms. Without immediate access to surgery and cardiology it's dangerous to have delays with stops at intermediate facilities. Full service hospitals with surgery and cardiology services have distinct advantages over stand alone ER's.

jamesnewsome
38
Points
jamesnewsome 01/26/13 - 08:11 am
3
3
Probably nixed by Azzizzzzzzzz

I would bet a small wager that Czar Azziz of MCG then GHSU, then GRU, and maybe GRUA was involved in the decision. It is more than apparent that Augusta, Columbia County and the entire state exists at the mercy of Atlanta.

curly123053
4669
Points
curly123053 01/26/13 - 08:26 am
3
3
Hmmmm????

It would not serve the interest of Azziz and his Regents to have UH or Doctors open a freestanding ER in CC. I wonder if he had behind the scene input? It's not like he hasn't before.

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 01/26/13 - 08:43 am
2
2
If you think it is a long

If you think it is a long drive downtown for Columbia residents how do you think Jefferson, Glascock, Warren, and Mcduffie residents feel. I was really hoping this would happen because as a resident of a surrounding county I would much rather go to a facility in CC.

CobaltGeorge
158501
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/26/13 - 08:52 am
2
4
Sad

that is all that can be said. I hate to think that our leaders in CC are beginning to think like our Hammer & Sickle Man. Us living creatures don't mean nothing except a vote!

seenitB4
87105
Points
seenitB4 01/26/13 - 09:34 am
2
1
The British are coming the British are coming

No...not really..just ole rednecks from Awgustie...but hey really ..you need it....a medium size hospital out close to Appling....why Appling...because you are growing in leaps..big leaps...the folks are coming & you can't stop it....

seenitB4
87105
Points
seenitB4 01/26/13 - 09:35 am
2
1
Someone will adjust

I know River will have to adjust...but he can...he just wants to run the dang thing!!

seenitB4
87105
Points
seenitB4 01/26/13 - 09:37 am
2
1
yeh CGee

Ya just a number on a dotted page...:)

Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 01/26/13 - 09:54 am
2
3
Urgent Care, Stand Alone ER's and Hospitals with ER's.

We already have urgent care facilities out in Columbia County for taking care of those things that can't wait, but are not true emergencies to save life or limb. Now using that definition of an emergency, to save life or limb, I contend a patient is much better off being sent to an ER with a full service hospital backing it up. That's why they get into all this stuff about the accreditation level of trauma centers. (There are some things I don't agree with about trauma center accreditation, but there is validity into having surgical and cardiology services on site in a hospital.)

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/26/13 - 10:31 am
1
2
Here's the best advice

Here's the best advice currently available for the best ER experience. Call ahead. Though, Doctor's is the closest and has the best clientele, they are not equipped to handle every emergency. And most important, go by ambulance. Many of us are just to fiscally responsible for own goods.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/26/13 - 11:39 am
2
0
To my friend: Skip the

To my friends: Skip the ambulance; I'll drive you. Just email me.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 01/26/13 - 11:15 am
3
3
By reading the comments some

The comments indicate some people actually think Columbia County holds more weight around that state than it actually does...

It's pretty ironic considering it's one of the most conservative counties in Georgia. I guess the leaders of Georgia realize CC is a lock for the republicans, and there's no point to please them in the majority of situations.

It may be the largest county in the state without and ER, but too most people it's just a suburb of Augusta.

I'm laughing at the comments who seem to suggest the ordinary citizens of Richmond County don't use the ER, but just the criminals. Yet, none of the criminals from the surrounding counties use the ER, but only the upstanding citizens.

Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 01/26/13 - 11:56 am
3
0
Countyman said, "It may be

Countyman said, "It may be the largest county in the state without and ER, but too most people it's just a suburb of Augusta."

I'm so ashamed to admit I live in Columbia County.

Little Lamb
45906
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 11:59 am
2
0
For argument's sake

Okay, let's say that Columbia County gets an ER. At that point some other county would instantly become the largest county in the state without an ER. Do you see how absurd that "largest county" argument is?

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/26/13 - 12:12 pm
3
1
Me, too, River.

Me, too, River.

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