Georgia hospital closes, hopes to reopen ED this year

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

North Georgia Medical Center in Ellijay closed Monday, but a nearby hospital owned by Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare plans to reopen the facility's emergency department.

NGMC faced financial troubles due to a significant decrease in patient volume and a large increase in charity and indigent care over the past two years. Robert Thornton, CEO of NGMC's owner Atlanta-based SunLink Health Systems, told Georgia Health News in January that NGMC averaged about six inpatients for the past year.

Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper, Ga., has agreed to lease and operate NGMC's emergency department. The Georgia Department of Community Health must approve the lease agreement, which hospital officials expect to be completed by Sept. 1. Upon approval, Piedmont Mountainside expects to reopen the ED by Nov. 1. Piedmont Mountainside will also lease the medical offices at NGMC.

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