Appeals Court overturns decision on Palmyra obstetrics unit

The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a Superior Court decision that denied Palmyra's certificate of need for a obstetrics unit in the hospital

Updated Friday, July 8 at 5:25 p.m.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital released a statement saying they are disappointed the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed two previous Superior Court rulings that denied a certificate of need to Palmyra Medical Center for an obstetrics unit.

Phoebe states:

"We believe the rulings of Superior Court of Dougherty County and Superior Court of Sumter County were correctly decided. We are disappointed in the decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals to overturn those rulings which denied Palmyra Medical Center a certificate of need to provide basic perimatal services.

Phoebe's position remains that there is no need for a second OB program in our community. Phoebe has reinvested significant resources to provide mothers and babies with the highest levels of safety, including a neonatal intensive care unit, and a second program would compromise quality and safety. We will be reviewing the Court's order and determining future directions."

Original Story

The Georgia Court of Appeals overturned two Superior Court rulings that denied Palmyra Medical Center a certificate of need (CON) to add an obstetrics unit to their hospital.

In a statement, Palmyra says, "We are pleased there is an option to pursue bringing this service to our patient care offerings. Going forward Palmyra will await the results of the proposed hospital sale before determining how best to proceed."

Previously, Superior Court judges in Dougherty and Sumter counties dismissed the decision by the Georgia Department of Community Health's (DCH) decision to grant Palmyra their CON.

Tuesday's Appeals Court decision overturned these rulings against Palmyra's CON for obstetrics services; based on the decision, Palmyra can now add a maternity unit to the hospital. On Tuesday, the Appeals court combined four cases: Cases in which Phoebe Putney and Phoebe Sumter wanted to have the CON invalidated and appeals cases against the two hospitals by the DCH.

In August 2008, Palmyra sought the CON so it could renovate unused hospital space and convert seven of its existing 248 beds to labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum (LDRP) beds, which allow new mothers to remain in the same room with their babies during hospital stay.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Phoebe Sumter opposed Palmyra's application, and the Superior Court reversed DCH's grant of a CON to Palmyra.

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