Another Major Metro Atlanta Hospital Is On The Brink

December 16, 2008 23:00 pm

by Icarus · 2 comments

Southern Regional Medical Center, (f/k/a Clayton General Hospital), may have to close at the end of the month:

The county commission voted 2 to 3 Tuesday night against a proposal for the county to back a $40 million bond for Southern Regional Health System.

The 331-bed Riverdale hospital must pay $40 million to creditors by the end of the month or risk defaulting — and possibly shutting its doors.

On Tuesday, commissioners told the hospital’s President and CEO Edward Bonn to come back with a better plan.

The hospital has the money to cover the debt in reserves, but has been operating at a loss as of late.   In fact, the writer of the story may have buried the lead.  It appears that the hospital may actually be in better shape than Clayton County.

The hospital vote came after a 20-minute argument between Bell and Commissioner Wole Ralph about the hospital’s finances. Ralph accused Bell of hiding financial information from the commission.

Bell maintains the county’s finances are in trouble while Ralph, who voted in support of the hospital bond, said the county budget is stable.

The state has frozen grants to Clayton because of incomplete financial records, and auditors have said they cannot trust information from the county’s finance office.

Bell and Gray said they need more information on the county’s finances before helping the hospital. However, that financial information likely won’t be available by the end of the month, Bell said.

I have now reached the conclusion that Clayton County exists for the sole purpose to make the rest of Georgia feel good about itself.

John Konop December 17, 2008 at 6:25 am

Icarus

I am not defending the management of Clayton County because I know nothing about it. Yet it is no secrete the heath-care system is broken. County hospitals emergency rooms are being used as a free heath-care system for people with no insurance.

Also the government as well insurance companies are squeezing payments to the hospitals for people who have insurance. This is a train wreck waiting to happen.

BTW giving tax breaks ie heath savings accounts to the unemployed or underemployed will not do much to solve the above problem. We need a real honest conversation about how to solve this issue.

It is time to talk about a mandatory pay system with letting people buy supplements to up grade. My libertarian friends will argue that this is big government. Yet letting people die on the streets is unacceptable and untreated sick people are a risk for all us via spread of disease.

Ideologues are great for debate over a bottle of wine and few beers, but we must deal with the real world.

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