AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

CTCA gets a second bill dropped at Georgia legislature

State Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, introduced legislation Wednesday night to help for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America escape its cap on Georgia patients.

House bill 464 would gradually phase out the state's current requirement that 65 percent of the "destination" cancer hospital's patients come from outside of Georgian. The phase-out would take place over five years.

In today's print edition, the AJC wrote about another pending bill to help CTCA, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, which would eliminate the out-of-state requirement without a phase-in period.

Georgia's general hospitals strongly oppose any changes in the requirements for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, saying the hospital focuses on making profits and primarily accepts patients with the highest-paying private insurance plans. They say the hospital should accept the deal it agreed to in 2008, which allowed it to come to Georgia without going through the rigorous Certificate of Need process.

Willard's new bill would get rid of the limit on the number of beds allowed at the hospital. It would also increase the amount of charity care the hospital would provide to 4 percent of the hospital's adjusted gross revenues. That's up from the 3 percent in current law.

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About the Author

Carrie Teegardin is on the investigative team. She is a graduate of Duke University and has won numerous national journalism awards.