Floyd Opposes Redmond Application to Add Obstetrical Services
Posted by Kurt Stuenkel, President and CEO
December 9, 2017
Since our beginning in 1942, Floyd Medical Center has provided high quality maternity services to this area. Floyd has kept up with the times with numerous renovations, and in November 2017 we opened a brand new level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in our facility. Our decades of expertise and resources uniquely position us to take care of complex patient needs-even those that occur unexpectedly.
Redmond Regional Medical Center is proposing to establish a new maternity service. There simply is no need for another program in our community. Birth rates have remained virtually static for the past 15 years or more. In their Certificate of Need (CON) application, Redmond cites that consumers should be able to choose and that their new service would have no adverse impact on Floyd.
As for consumer choice, competition can indeed be good. But health care is not a purely competitive market. Why does Floyd care for more indigent patients and others who cannot fully pay for their health care? Why do health care service providers have to apply to the state for a CON? Why can’t anyone open up any service they wish? The answer to these types of questions is that health care is very complex, and CON exists in Georgia because policy makers recognize this complexity.
Floyd opposes Redmond’s application because a new service would negatively impact Floyd. Floyd is the area’s largest employer, and we have a tremendous impact on the area economically. Floyd provided more than $74 million in community benefit activities in 2017, including $32.9 million in indigent care and charity care costs. In Redmond’s CON application they state that their new service would climb to over 700 births annually. These births would subtract from Floyd’s service and would result in over $5 million dollars less annually to Floyd. Floyd would reduce some costs if we lost this volume, but most of the $5 million in lost net revenues would not be made up. This would hurt Floyd and our ability to continue to deliver consistently high levels of community benefits. Why hurt the area’s largest contributor of community benefit, especially when the Redmond dollars will head out of town straight into a for-profit hospital company.
In 2012, the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority changed it 15-year relationship with Redmond and HCA, Redmond’s parent company, to enter a new agreement with Floyd. In addition to constructing a beautiful and successful new hospital, Floyd promised the benefits that a not-for-profit community hospital can bring. In 5 years Polk County has seen their health care services grow, and the millions and millions of dollars that Polk County employers and citizens paid into the pockets of HCA are now remaining in Polk County to serve the health care needs of Polk County citizens for years to come.
Redmond and HCA propose to do in Floyd County what they did to Polk County for 15 years, send the local money away. If approved, Redmond would take approximately $5 million annually in net revenues away from Floyd, money that has historically stayed in Floyd County and send it away. Redmond will talk about the taxes the company pays, but that does not equate with the overall benefits Floyd provides. In fact, Floyd both pays and enables over $870,000 annually in property taxes
The application does not serve our community. It sends money away, out of our community and into the pockets of investors, and it weakens Floyd Medical Center’s ability to provide consistent high levels of community benefits.