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Putnam General Hospital Announces Partnership with Macon Health System

Putnam General Hospital Announces Partnership with Macon Health System

PGH to Unite with Central Georgia Health System, Medical Center of Central Georgia

MACON, GA (Monday, July 7, 2014) – Putnam General Hospital (PGH) in Eatonton, along with Central Georgia Health System (CGHS) and The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) in Macon, today announced their intent to enter a strategic partnership that will allow the two hospitals to create and expand healthcare services for Putnam County and the surrounding region.

“The primary goal of our partnership is to create a medical neighborhood for those who live in Georgia's lake country, allowing us to recruit physicians and expand services to cover the continuum of care. The management arrangement will allow The Medical Center of Central Georgia, with the strength and leadership of Putnam General's CEO Alan Horton,  to bring resources directly to the community, develop new opportunities, and retain Putnam's talented physicians while recruiting new talent as necessary. All of this is in an effort to keep healthcare local,” said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of CGHS and MCCG.

Dr. Eddie Richardson, Chief of Staff at PGH, agreed that expanded services will attract new physicians to the area.

“Our partnership with The Medical Center of Central Georgia will enable us to expand our service offerings, making Putnam more attractive to highly trained physicians and giving the community increased access to a plethora of specialists,” said Richardson. 

According to Alan Horton, CEO of PGH, the Putnam County hospital has been seeking a larger health system to partner with for some time.

“We've been exploring our options, and The Medical Center of Central Georgia is a good fit. The Medical Center is well respected and well recognized by the citizens of Putnam County. Furthermore, we have similar goals and a similar approach to healthcare – placing the patient at the center of all that we do. Management relationships such as these are a path to sustainability for rural hospitals,” said Horton.

Horton said the arrangement will allow PGH to develop opportunities PGH otherwise would be unable to afford. Saunders agreed.

“Putnam General Hospital has been a pillar in the lake country community for almost 50 years. The hospital is foundational to the healthcare needs of the community. Strategic partnerships between community partners ensure the viability and longevity of healthcare providers, increasing a community hospital's capabilities while keeping healthcare close to home,” said Starr Purdue, Chairperson of CGHS's Board of Directors. 

Due to recent changes in the healthcare industry, alliances among healthcare providers have become a positive and necessary national trend. In a statement released last August, Earl Rogers, President of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), addressed the many challenges hospitals face today.

“When you combine the uncompensated care burden with continued reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals, there are several hospitals in the state facing great difficulty staying financially viable,” said Rogers.

According to GHA, a Georgia Department of Community Health Hospital Financial Survey found that 55 percent of Georgia's rural hospitals lost money in 2011,

“We realized a partnership was necessary. Without a larger partner, Putnam General would not be able to survive current trends in healthcare, including decreased reimbursement. The Medical Center is our long time neighbor, and a wonderful choice for this partnership,” said Jerry Gregory, Chairperson of PGH's Board of Directors.

CGHS, MCCG and PGH are members of Stratus Healthcare, a strategic non-equity network of health systems, hospitals and physicians that was formed in July 2013. Horton and Saunders recognize that this partnership may not have been realized without their connection through Stratus.

“The purpose of Stratus Healthcare is to permit members to strengthen one another. The partnership with Putnam General Hospital is very much Stratus based. The developing relationship between The Medical Center of Central Georgia and Putnam General Hospital will allow the two healthcare entities to work together in a more formalized manner,” said Saunders.