Code Red: The decline of Georgia's rural hospitals
Rural hospitals across Georgia are fighting for their lives. Eight closed between 2001 and 2015, leaving tens of thousands of Georgians without critical health care nearby. A multitude of challenges – from falling patient volumes and reimbursements to new government regulations – have increasingly pummeled hospitals’ bottom lines. Read the full story here.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently analyzed five years-worth of the most recent hospital financial data available from the state for each of Georgia’s 61 remaining rural hospitals. You can find information about individual hospitals on the interactive map below, including how many years each hospital lost money during the time period we examined.
You can also further explore Georgia’s rural health care landscape. The map includes not just current rural hospitals but also those that have closed in the last few years, the locations of air ambulances and counties that have no ambulance services. The map does not include hospitals that serve metropolitan regions. Rural counties are generally considered those with populations of 35,000 or fewer.
* Fourteen hospitals said the state’s numbers — which are provided by the hospitals themselves to the Georgia Department of Community Health — are inaccurate. Most of those said that the state overstated their losses, although 11 of the 14 acknowledged that they still lost money. Officials at Pioneer Community Hospital of Early say Pioneer actually made a profit in 2011 and 2012. Officials at Union General Hospital say Union actually made a profit in 2013. Hospital officials at University Hospital McDuffie say McDuffie actually made a profit in 2012 and 2013.
** Hart County Hospital merged with Cobb Memorial Hospital in 2012 to become Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia.