The Georgia Department of Community Health has issued a Certificate of Need to Newton Medical Center for the development of a neonatal intermediate care unit at the hospital.
In announcing its decision to issue the hospital a CON, the Department of Community Health's Office of General Council wrote it had found NMC's proposal to conform to state plans for the development of health care facilities throughout Georgia.
The Office of General Council reviewed the proposal under Georgia's health planning statute, which seeks to avoid the unnecessary duplication of expensive health care services.
"With our growing population, the demand or need for that type of service has increased," said Troy Brooks, NMC assistant administrator. "The doctors felt like we needed to go ahead to provide this service here."
The NICU will contain four beds and will be located in one of the unused nurseries of the hospital's Birthcare Center. There will be little or no construction involved in the development of the NICU Brooks said.
The estimated cost of the NICU is $92,852. Brooks said funding for the development of the NICU will come from the hospital's operational revenue.
Brooks said he expects the NICU to be up and running sometime this spring. Brooks said the hospital would likely employ additional nurses and would contract with neonatologists to staff the NICU.
Approximately, 800 babies are born each year in NMC's Birthcare Center.