Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System continued its growth Monday, with officials announcing a purchase agreement with Barrow Regional Medical Center.
Quorum Health Corp. of Brentwood, Tenn. owns the Barrow hospital.
“We are excited to expand our footprint in Barrow County,” NGHS President and CEO Carol Burrell said.
With medical services already in Barrow, the hospital purchase “will further increase our system’s coordination of care for Barrow County residents,” she said.
Transitional teams will work over the coming months to align operations. Both organizations anticipate no immediate operational service changes at the medical center, a press release from NGHS states.
“We have much work to do over the coming months and many decisions to make about how to bring our teams together,” said Anthony Williamson, CEO of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, which is in South Hall near Barrow County.
“Some changes are already occurring,” he added.
For example, cardiologists with The Heart Center of NGMC are planning to move their Barrow practice to the medical office building at Barrow Regional, “providing more seamless access to inpatient and outpatient cardiology services,” Williamson said.
Also, “additional capacity in Barrow County, one of the fastest growing areas of our state, will be a great benefit for our system,” he said.
The Braselton hospital has “seen volumes increase rapidly … since our opening (in April 2015), especially in the emergency department,” Williamson said.
The move also should help with the Barrow hospital’s financial stability and operations, Barrow CEO Chad Hatfield said.
“There are ever-increasing financial pressures on small hospitals as our state and national health care landscapes evolve,” he said. “Joining a system like NGHS, which has a regional service distribution and sophisticated infrastructure already in place, is critical.”
For NGHS, the move also marks another milestone in its ongoing growth.
The 100-bed NGMC Braselton off Friendship Road/Ga. 347 opened in April 2015 and an obstetrics unit opened there in late summer. Also, last year, the health system opened its Corporate Plaza in Oakwood for some 350 support-service employees.
For Burrell, the latest move into Barrow hits home, literally.
“As a native of Barrow County myself, I know that local health care services are an important point of pride for this community,” she said.