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State approves surgery center for NGMC Braselton
Patients enter Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton on Friday, March 1, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

A new surgery center could be coming to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.

The Georgia Department of Community Health approved the Northeast Georgia Health System’s Certificate of Need application for the facility on Monday, March 25.

The state’s Certificate of Need program requires health care providers to seek state approval for some services and facilities, with the goal of reducing duplication of services and protecting investments community hospitals have made in specialized care or technology.

Other health systems have 30 days to appeal the state’s decision. If no appeals are filed, NGHS will move to establish a timeline to open the ambulatory surgery center. Ambulatory surgery centers usually offer less complex procedures than would be done in a hospital, which can lower costs for patients and sometimes let them go home the same day of the surgery.

The over-25,000-square-foot Braselton surgery center would have four operating rooms and two procedure rooms.

“We want to thank the hundreds of physicians and other health care providers who expressed their support through letters to the Department of Community Health, as well as the thousands of local residents, businesses and civic leaders who voiced their desire for NGHS to develop the surgery center,” Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton, said in a statement.  “We believe that support played a tremendous role in the state’s decision.”

Supporters included the Hall County Board of Commissioners, which submitted a letter to the state.

The surgery center would be on the first floor of a new Medical Plaza 2 building, which would also have other medical offices.

Other expansions planned for NGMC Braselton include 24 additional acute care beds and 22 new post-partum beds. The hospital opened in April 2015.