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Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals drops Lee County hospital lawsuit

The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals dropped its lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) on Monday. / MGN Online

Another group has decided it will no longer continue to prevent the Lee County Medical Center (LCMC) from being built.

The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals dropped its lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) on Tuesday. The lawsuit challenged the validity of the hospital's approval of a certificate of need (CON) for LCMC.

GACH said it is dismissing this lawsuit to focus on other projects.

In a statement, GACH President and CEO Monty Veazey said, "Because the validity of the regulation at issue will be decided in connection with separate litigation between Doctors Hospital of Augusta and DCH involving the proposed new general acute care hospital in Columbia County, Georgia, GACH determined that it is in the best interests of its members to devote the association’s resources to other ongoing initiatives to protect safety net hospitals. GACH remains committed to preserving the integrity of the CON process and, going forward, will continue to challenge efforts of for-profit companies to weaken the CON program or otherwise circumvent the CON goals and objectives of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services, and planning for healthcare services based on objective, community focused standards. The CON program remains one of the most critical elements to the stability of Georgia’s entire network of care. This critical tool helps the state manage the availability and financial survival of safety net hospitals while ensuring access to emergency departments, advanced treatment, and routine healthcare needs for all patients regardless of ability to pay."

Veazey presented to Dougherty County commissioners last August and recommended they file a letter of opposition against LCMC, which they did.

Last Friday, Crisp Regional dropped its appeal against LCMC's CON.

The day before, Dougherty County filed a lawsuit against DCH in Fulton County Superior Court and is now the only group with an open lawsuit or appeal against LCMC.

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