Georgia Regents Medical Center wins bid to build hospital

After battling it out with two other local hospitals, Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta has been chosen by the Department of Community Health to build a new hospital in Columbia County, according to a recent report from The Augusta Chronicle.

Two of GRMC's competing bidders — Doctors Hospital of Augusta and University Hospital, also in Augusta — have issued statements denouncing the decision. Doctors Hospital has even said it will appeal the department's decision, according to the report.

The Department of Community Health chose GRMC after the hospital revised its original proposal from a nearly $300 million-project to a plan for a smaller scale, $148 million-hospital, aligning more closely with the proposals of its competing bidders. Additionally, GRMC's commitment to trauma care and ability to serve more patients in need overall contributed to the department's decision, according to the report.

The ruling, pending appeals, realizes the longtime wish of Columbia County officials to have a hospital or an emergency department. The county has already committed $30 million of future local sales tax revenues to fund the county’s portion of the cost but a county hospital authority, which can issue revenue bonds to fund the project, will likely be created as well.

Moving forward, the county's next step will be to explore creating that new authority and work out with GRMC the hospital's governance.




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