Rural hospital execs in Georgia must finish finance classes by end of 2020

Georgia is requiring executives and board members at 59 rural hospitals to take financial management classes and receive other training to improve rural healthcare, the Georgia Hospital Association confirmed.

The requirement passed by Georgia lawmakers in 2018 comes amid a slew of rural hospital closures in the state.

As of Aug. 23, at least seven rural hospitals had stopped providing inpatient care since 2010, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

The law mandates that CEOs, CFOs, board members and hospital authority members (if the facility is operated by a hospital authority) at  designated rural Georgia hospitals complete an education program approved by  Macon-based Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center at Mercer University School of Medicine.

"We are seeing a renewed focus, nationally and at the state level, on rural healthcare access and viability," Chuck Adams, executive vice president of the Georgia Hospital Association, told Becker's Hospital Review. "The state of Georgia is directing many resources to rural development, and therefore, wants to ensure that rural hospitals have the right training and resources to be successful, viable and able to provide much-needed healthcare access to their communities."

The Georgia Hospital Association and Georgia Southern University in Statesboro are partnering to offer the training.

Current executives and board members at rural Georgia hospitals must complete an education program approved by the center by the end of next year.

Kaiser Health News reported that affected rural hospitals must make sure their board members and executives complete at least eight hours of classes or be subject to a fine and ineligible for a state tax credit.   

 

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