ATLANTA — A massive healthcare provider in Georgia has apparently decided it won't renew its membership with one of the state's largest medical trade associations.
A statement released by Georgia Hospital Association President and CEO Earl Rogers suggests that he had recently gotten the news that Piedmont Healthcare that they won't be renewing their membership for 2020.
In his statement, Rogers took an understanding but disappointed tone in the hospital group's decision.
"Like all our members, the Piedmont System is constantly seeking ways to reduce costs, and their leadership made a business decision to spend on other priorities," Rogers wrote.
However, he also suggested that working together through the nonprofit GHA meant "strength in numbers" and a "unified voice" in the hospital industry.
On its website, the GHA boasts 173 member hospitals across the state; though, it's unclear if that number includes the 11 Piedmont hospitals the organization would now be losing.
"While each hospital and system must focus on the specific needs of its patients and community, the overwhelming majority of the challenges we face are extremely similar," Rogers wrote. "GHA is certainly disappointed by the Piedmont decision; however, we respect their leadership’s right to choose where resources are allocated and we wish Piedmont well."
According to its own description, the hospital association was founded in 1929 to "promote the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all of Georgia's citizens."
It does this by providing "information and education on issues ranging from access to health care and clinical updates to effect hospital management and compliance with high-level accreditation standards."
In the absence of Piedmont Healthcare, GHA said it will continue to move forward serving as an advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems.
In addition to its hospitals, Piedmont Healthcare also boasts on its website numerous smaller healthcare operations under its name including 24 urgent care centers, 28 Piedmont QuickCare locations, 555 Piedmont Clinic physician practice locations and more than 2,000 Piedmont Clinic members.
Overall, the hospital group claims to have nearly 600 locations and serve almost 2 million patients.
11Alive reached out to Piedmont Healthcare for a comment. In a statement, the hospital said it takes its "responsibility to improve quality and control the rising cost of healthcare" seriously, but the costs played a role in their decision.
"Our GHA dues have increased over recent years to a point that we can no longer ignore. We have taken the same approach to all areas within Piedmont, which has allowed us to keep our cost per unit in line with the substantial pressure we are seeing on the quality of the revenue stream.”
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Piedmont Healthcare's statement.
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