The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Side by side: Health-expansion regulations


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 26, 2017 - 2:04 AM

Here are two sides to an issue before the General Assembly in which some of the major players are from Newnan. It has to do with a Georgia law requiring hospitals and other medical facilities to convince state officials to grant a certificate of need in order to build or expand.

To get its initial certificate to build a facility in Newnan, Cancer Treatment Centers of America agreed to limit the share of its patients from Georgia each year to 35 percent as a way to minimize its impact on existing hospitals. Now that the 35 percent limit was reached last year and dozens of Georgians had to be turned away, CTCA is seeking to have the limit removed.

On one side, a CTCA patient argues she and all cancer sufferers should have the freedom to pick where they get their treatment. On the other side are traditional hospitals like Piedmont Newnan who say they can’t afford to lose insured cancer patients to CTCA because costs shifted to insured patients help cover the expense of treating the uninsured. Since a cancer patient with insurance can bring thousands of dollars to a hospital, the tug-of-war for them is fierce and is playing out in this year’s legislature.