May 8-- A report from the Georgia Hospital Association highlights the impact Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia has on the area's economy.
"Of course our budget every year amounts to over a quarter of a billion dollars and we provide over 700 jobs," says Meadows CEO Alan Kent.
The medical association report claims Meadows pumped over $136 million into the economy in 2009. Kent says it's even more now due to the opening of the new medical center on Highway 280 in Vidalia.
"We've already seen significant growth. Our volumes are up on in-patient and out-patient care and we've been very fortunate to be able to recruit new physicians to bring specialty care. As we bring more business here, we're going to see the economic impact continue to grow and benefit not only Vidalia, but the entire region, " Kent reports.
While many hospitals in surrounding communities are facing deficits, Kent says Meadows is out performing larger hospitals.
"Our hospital generates more revenue than hospitals two or three times our size. For example, we generate more revenue than a hospital with three times our bed count in Milledgeville and twice our bed count in Douglas," he notes.
According to Kent, Meadows would be doing even better if it weren't for the high volume of write-offs it has to do each year.
"We do millions of dollars in uncompensated care. That includes not only the indigent care, but also the care we provide which is significantly below our cost for Medicare and Medicaid. There's also our very high level of bad debt of people who just don't pay the remainder of their care after their insurance," Kent says.