The Georgia Attorney General officially approved Newton Medical Center’s affiliation with Piedmont Healthcare Friday.
The merger between the two healthcare entities became official after the noon signing of the deal. The formal closing of the 40-year lease is set for Oct. 1.
"As of noon today we have been notified that the Attorney General of the State of Georgia has approved the affiliation between Newton Medical Center and Piedmont Healthcare,” said Newton Medical Center CEO Jim Weadick. “Now we will prepare for the formal closing that will take place on October 1."
The attorney general’s report of findings says that Piedmont will guarantee the obligations of Newton Medical, including payment obligations related to Newton Medical’s indebtedness, under the amended lease with the Hospital Authority.
“Piedmont will also guarantee the performance of all payment obligations of Newton County under the contract between the Authority and Newton County related to the Hospital,” the report of findings said.
The report also stated that Piedmont Healthcare has committed to providing wage adjustments for employees, resulting in overall average increases for active employees equal to three percent of employee wages on average. Piedmont has also committed to maintain clinical services at the hospital and appoint at least one person from the Newton Medical Center’s Board of Directors to serve on Piedmont’s Board of Directors for one full term.
Newton Medical Center sought an affiliation in the summer of 2014, before agreeing with Piedmont in January and announcing the merger in May of 2015. Newton Medical Center is a 97-bed general acute care hospital, featuring cardiovascular services, the BirthCare Center, Knox Surgical Center, a sleep center and the Women's Diagnostic Center. NMC employs 750 staff and has 240 medical physicials on staff.
For more on this story see Sunday's print edition of The Covington News.