The Georgia Department of Community Health has affirmed its decision to approve level one perinatal services at the Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome.
“We are pleased with the state’s ruling, upholding our certificate of need to add obstetric services,” said Redmond CEO John Quinlivan. “We appreciate the support and approval of the Georgia Department of Community Health that enables us to expand our services and to provide families in our community a choice in obstetrical care.”
As a condition of approval of the project, Redmond re-committed to providing charity and indigent care at the hospital at or in excess of three percent of adjusted gross revenue at the hospital.
Floyd Medical Center appealed the initial certificate of need authorized for the project March 26, 2018.
In 2008, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 433, certificate of need reform legislation which included the perinatal choice exception. This provides that applicants for basic perinatal services are not required to show need in circumstances where only one other hospital in the applicant’s county provides the service as well as there are not “at least three different health care facilities in a contiguous county providing” the same service.
At first, that exception applied only to Floyd, Dougherty and Muscogee counties. Now, Floyd County is the only county where that exception could be applicable.
Floyd Medical Center has been responsible for 95.6 of the births to Floyd County mothers. In the immediate area, 96 percent of babies born to Chattooga County residents are delivered at FMC and 80.1 percent of Polk County residents have their babies delivered at FMC.
Evidence presented during five days of hearings in December revealed that FMC ranks as the ninth busiest hospital in the state for obstetrical services.
The hearing officer concluded, “there is neither significant under-utilization in Floyd County, nor in the proposed service area generally, nor is there an existing alternative to the project” and affirmed the certificate of need for Redmond.
Redmond’s plan has a total budget of $21.8 million, with the bulk of that, $18.2 million coming in construction costs. The perinatal area would encompass almost 28,000 square feet of space, the bulk of that representing new construction.
Redmond’s plan includes nine labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum rooms and one cesarean-section room. A seven-bassinet nursery is also included in the construction plan.
Redmond projects that, during the first year of its obstetrical service, it will have between 700 and 731 obstetric-patient admissions and projects 770 obstetric admissions by the second year.