AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Georgia lawmakers added to hospital's woes

UPDATE...Georgia lawmakers defied warnings from hospitals in 2008, when, with a last-minute vote, they created a loophole in the certificate of need process for new medical facilities. The Legislature said  doctors could skip that process to open out-patient surgical centers for a single specialty, such as orthopedics. Hospitals said that decision would add to their financial woes because they must treat every indigent patient who shows up in their emergency rooms, while surgeons could primarily serve the best-paying patients.

That same year, the Legislature also allowed Cancer Treatment Centers of America to open a hospital without showing the need for it.

Her story explains how the hospital's mounting losses have affected patients, doctors, nurses and the community. You can read her story here.



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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.