Palmyra Medical Center appeals federal court's decision

Palmyra Medical Center announced today it has appealed a federal court's decision last week to dismiss the hospital's antitrust lawsuit seeking to break "Phoebe Putney's monopolies and restore patient choice."

In the lawsuit filed against Phoebe Putney in July, Palmyra Medical Center said, "for many years (Phoebe Putney has) used their monopolies in obstetrics, neonatology, and cardiovascular care to foreclose competition in other hospital services" and "prevent commercially insured residents of Dougherty and the surrounding counties from being able to use Palmyra."

"This community will not have a true healthcare choice until there is fair competition," said Mark Rader, CEO of Palmyra Medical Center. "We appreciate the support we've received from physicians, patients and others throughout our community who also understand that introducing competition and choice will improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare for Southwest Georgians."

"For years, Palmyra has tried to bring choice and competition to Albany. The hospital filed a Certificate of Need (CON) application with the Department of Community Health (DCH) in August seeking approval to provide Level One Obstetrical Services. The CON was approved on January 9, but has been appealed by Phoebe Putney. This is the fourth time Palmyra has filed a CON to introduce choice in obstetrical services, and the fourth time Phoebe Putney has opposed those efforts."

"In addition, last year Palmyra sought to participate in the Dougherty County and City of Albany health plans. Despite offering significant discounts that would have translated into real savings for employees and taxpayers and provided a true choice for these employees, Palmyra was not allowed to provide in-network coverage."

"We feel strongly that our community deserves to have a choice in their healthcare services, and we should have a fair chance to compete to offer patients a choice," said Rader.