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      Tift Regional to close long-term care unit


      Tift Regional Medical Center has announced that its Transitional Care Center will be closing by October 1.

      The 15-bed unit, while located on the second floor of TRMC, is separately licensed from the hospital as a skilled nursing facility. TCC provides long-term care for inpatients (classified as residents) no longer requiring the intensity of acute care but not ready for a nursing home or home care.

      "It was after a careful review that we made this difficult decision," said Carol Smith, RN, TRMC Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President, Patient Care. "For many years, TCC has provided a great service for our community."

      Smith said maintaining compliance with continuously shifting governmental requirements combined with decreasing Medicare reimbursement have resulted in a decline in patient volume, making it difficult for the hospital to cover the expense of operating the unit.

      She added that there will be no staff reductions due to the TCC closing and nurses and other personnel will be moved to other areas in the hospital. "To enhance patient flow and throughput, we will use the vacant TCC space for other inpatient services," said Smith. "We plan to work closely with TCC patients and their families along with local long-term care providers to insure a smooth transition to alternate facilities offering transitional care."

      Patients will no longer be admitted to the center after July 28.
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