Georgia Looks To Reopen Some Closed Rural Hospitals As E.R.s

Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in partnership with NPR, Susanna Capelouto reports: "Four of Georgia's 65 rural hospitals have shut down over the past two years. A dozen more have cut services in response to shrinking budgets.There just wasn't enough money to keep Charlton Memorial going, says Doug Gowen, who stayed and is in charge of what's left of the defunct hospital. ... The state of Georgia just threw him a lifeline, offering a new kind of license to allow struggling hospitals and those that have closed in the past year to become rural freestanding emergency departments. 'The intent here is to have some kind of health care infrastructure in a community, as opposed to nothing at all,' says Clyde Reese, who runs the Georgia Department of Community Health" (Capelouto, 5/29). Read the story

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