Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 1, 2013

SGMC acquires Berrien Hospital

-- — The new rules under Pres. Barack Obama’s administration for healthcare are complex and growing more so as constant revisions are continuing. Navigating the thousands of pages in the new regulations is a daunting task for anyone, but several issues are clear -- healthcare costs will increase for most employers, and different rules for hospital ownership and Medicare/ Medicaid reimbursements will be instituted.

This year alone, a number of small hospitals have closed across the country, including at least two in Georgia since December, and more are in serious jeopardy, particularly in rural communities.

In other words, if South Georgia Medical Center had not purchased Berrien County hospital, its future was very undecided. Now, SGMC will be able to provide additional services in the community, maintain a local acute care hospital, and continue the tradition of this small facility.

SGMC celebrated Monday with a ribbon cutting at the new Berrien campus, and more than a hundred citizens from Nashville attended the event in support of the new ownership.

It’s a good thing that SGMC was able to acquire the facility and support the Nashville community by keeping such an important local service open and available, with additional services to also come their way soon.

While it’s a shame that smaller hospitals may not be able to survive under the new regulations, it’s fortunate for Berrien County that theirs will not be one of the statistics.

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