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Call for legislation changes in light of Atlanta Medical Center closing

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A legislative study committee looking for ways to modernize Georgia’s Certificate of Need guidelines governing the construction of new health facilities in the state heard from a consumer advocate who’s calling for more notice before hospital closures.

Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch, cited the recent closure of Atlanta Medical Center and its owner Wellstar which only provided 30 days' notice. She’s calling on the state to require 180 days' written notice and a formal review by a third party and a public hearing.

Coyle cited a poll Georgia Watch conducted in April, working with the University of Georgia, that found nearly 83% of respondents support requiring a six-month review of proposed hospital closures. At least two legislators said the six-month notice would be overly burdensome and further aggravate hospital financial problems.

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