Georgia county approves up to $375M for new hospital

Columbia County, Ga., approved a contract of up to $375 million in bonds for the construction of a new Augusta (Ga.) University Health hospital, after the health system completes its merger with Marietta, Ga.-based Wellstar Health, The Augusta Chronicle reported July 20.

AU Health got a certificate of need to build the hospital in 2014 and has already begun construction using capital funds. Wellstar and Augusta University announced the merger in March 2023 and expect to officially close the deal this summer.

Through the contract, Columbia County has an obligation to backstop 20 percent of the bond but will not be paying out any construction funds unless other entities default.

"We are pleased to announce that we have started the construction process and are continuing to assess the community's healthcare needs for additional opportunities," Rick Plummer, assistant vice president for marketing and branding at AU Health, told the Chronicle. "... Right now, our team is focused on transition planning for our potential partnership with Wellstar, but look forward to providing additional information in the future as the construction for the new hospital progresses."

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