ATLANTA - The 11-hospital Piedmont Healthcare system is withdrawing its membership in the Georgia Hospital Association, striking a blow at the hospital industry’s ability to mount a united front in dealing with state policy makers.
In a statement, Piedmont cited the increasing cost of GHA membership dues.
“As an organization, we take seriously our responsibility to improve quality and control the rising cost of health care,” the statement read. “Our GHA dues have increased over recent years to a point that we can no longer ignore."
For years, Piedmont and other nonprofit hospital systems working with the GHA successfully fought off legislation before the General Assembly industry lobbyists argued would have put the hospitals at a competitive disadvantage.
But last year marked a departure from that trend. Lawmakers passed a bill imposing new financial disclosure requirements on nonprofit hospitals in the name of greater transparency, including how much they pay their top executives.
The General Assembly also did away with decade-old restrictions limiting the number of beds and percentage of patients from Georgia that could be served at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospital in Newnan.
“GHA firmly believes in the importance of strength in numbers and a unified voice for the hospital industry,” GHA President Earl Rogers said in a statement reported by Georgia Health News.
“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."