Dozens of Georgia hospitals operating in the red: 5 things to know

Without the boost hospitals in many other states got from expanded Medicaid programs, many hospitals in Georgia are facing financial troubles.

Here are five things to know about the financial struggles of many Georgia hospitals, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

1. A review of the 2014 financial reports for hospitals across Georgia showed "dozens are operating in the red," according to AJC.

2. Georgia's decision to opt out of Medicaid expansion has taken a toll on many hospitals in the state, especially those in rural areas.

3. Augusta, Ga.-based University Health Care System Chief Administrative Officer Ed Burr told AJC many rural hospitals are struggling to attract enough patients to stay viable. "I think the reality is that a lot of them probably are going to have to close," he said.

4. Distressed rural hospitals can achieve financial stability by partnering with a larger health system. However, that is a difficult task, as many rural hospitals are not desirable acquisition targets for larger organizations.

5. Six Georgia hospitals have closed since 2013, with one reopening with limited services. Last week, North Georgia Medical Center in Ellijay said it plans to no longer offer inpatient services and lease its emergency room and medical offices to Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare. Washington County Regional Medical Center, a 56-bed hospital in Sandersville, Ga., is also faced with the prospect of closure.

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