Columbia County Commission Leaves Hospital Decision to the State - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Columbia County Commission Leaves Hospital Decision to the State

Columbia County Commission Leaves Hospital Decision to the State

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Columbia County, GA - The decision of which hospital will be built in Columbia County is now left up to the state. Commissioners voted to approve all three hospitals for the bid, and let them make their case to the Georgia Department of Community Health.

With multiple meetings, presentations, and work sessions, many thought the county was getting one step closer to making a decision. After Tuesday night’s meeting, all three hospitals are back to square one. Doctors, University, and GRU will all have to go before the Board of Community Health in Atlanta to start the bid process all over again.

Health and wellness is at the center of Jodi Lott’s world. She’s a registered nurse, and owns Evans Rehabilitation Services with her husband.

Lott said she’s been following the hospital decision from the beginning.

At the final work session, Lott voiced her opinion to the commission and explained why she thought University Hospital would be the best fit for the county, and she also attended last night’s meeting.

“I think that the Columbia County Commissioners did a great job. I’m really glad that was their decision to push it off, and they were very wise to recognize that had they made a decision, it really was not even theirs to make,” said Lott.

Commissioners are backing all three hospitals as they make their presentation to the Department of Community Health in Atlanta.

But, when it comes down to it, there is still a possibility a Certificate of Need will not be approved for any of the hospitals.

“As a matter of fact, I think that’s why there was not a lot of community support because there are sections of Columbia County, there are Commission Districts 1 and 2 very close to hospital districts,” said Lott.

Even if a Certificate of Need is approved and a hospital is chosen by DCH, there could be appeals made by the two other hospitals, and the decision could turn into a lengthy deal.

“If people don’t like the fact that we have to wait on someone else to make the decision for Columbia County, then we need to contact our state representatives about that system,” said Lott.

The Columbia County Commission Chairman said it will probably take around 6 months for DCH to see the presentations and come back with a decision.

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