Some health care experts say the rural future lies in standalone emergency rooms, perhaps with a few beds on standby for follow-up care. #tablecaption

Value for Georgia (Number): 10,617,423 Data item: Population, 2019 estimate Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates Program (PEP), updated annually. The commissioners’ vote was unanimous: The hospital project would go forward. border-left: 0px solid !important; “Eventually you realize you can’t do business the same way you’re always doing business, so you either stop doing business or change.”. Learn more. The event was also streamed live on the newspaper’s Facebook page, where more than 400 people watched it. Agriculture was once the primary employer, but the Wheeler Correctional Facility, a privately run prison, is now the biggest source of jobs. The troubles with Glenwood’s hospital became apparent about a decade ago. You’ve got higher levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension ― you pick up any health disparity or measure and it’s there,” Morgan said. New Yorkers, New Jerseyans and Californians are rushing to get a taste of the Georgia peach. padding-right: 5px; And cuts are coming to the D. However, community leaders in Wheeler and Candler counties said there is no doubt that a Medicaid expansion could have helped. There’s just one catch: The new facility won’t have an emergency room. “The Southeast of the U.S. is where things are going horribly wrong. While 119 people may be a drop in the bucket for Georgia's population of nearly 10 million, it represents over a quarter of that city's population. “We’ve got to go down swinging,” said Thrift, the county commission chairman. The project aims to save those jobs and create 50 more when it’s completed in the summer of 2019. With that uncertainty in mind, political leaders in Georgia are in a wait-and-see mode. background-color: #fff; Most Employees of Private Non-Farm Establishments, Highest Percentage with High School Diploma, Highest Percentage of Residents Living In Multi-Unit Buildings, Highest Percentage of Foreign Born Residents, Highest Percentage of American Indian or Alaska Native Residents, Highest Percentage of Black or African American Residents, Highest Percentage of Hispanic or Latino Residents, Highest Percentage of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Residents, Highest Percentage of Residents With Two or More Races, Highest Percentage White, Not Hispanic or Latino, Residents. This State Is 'Ground Zero.'. Infographics created by HuffPost’s Alissa Scheller. border-bottom: 1px solid #000 !important; border-top: 0px solid !important; GLENWOOD, Ga. ― If you want to watch a rural community die, kill its hospital. Dougherty County lost $464.92 million in annual AGI and lost 10,833 residents, Enter your email to get FREE small business insights. font-size: 12px; Then the only grocery store in all of Wheeler County closed in the middle of August this year. “Counties are the primary social safety net on the ground.”. Thrift, the Candler County commissioner, acknowledges that the future of rural health care probably lies in prioritizing regionalized medicine with larger, newer facilities that draw patients from several counties ― much like what’s happening in Cook County. “There’s a psychological impact where people are tied to their hospital and feel comfort with it here,’’ said Doug Eaves, the Candler County administrator. Last updated: Oct 11, 2013. 229 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 100 } Two of those have been reopened as modified medical facilities, but no longer function as full-fledged hospitals. Rural hospitals are in danger across the country, their closures both a symptom of economic trouble in small-town America and a catalyst for further decline. “Those most in need of health services have the fewest options available, and we are closing rural hospitals,” Morgan said. The 6 Counties Losing the Most Wealth in Georgia: 1. "It can definitely present a challenge in areas where property assessments are growing rapidly," Istrate said. Georgia is a state that has many counties-- 159 to be exact -- and in recent years, these counties have experienced significant growth, while others have seen declining populations. “Only way we’re going to survive in rural Georgia is we’ve got to learn where the county line doesn’t end anymore,” he said. margin-bottom: 25px;

Future of Finance: From government funds to cryptocurrencies, muni bonds to opportunity zones, pay-as-you-go to long-term financing, direct taxation to P3s. Although the age 25-to-54 group has historically been viewed as the range for prime working ages, it’s worth noting that more Americans are opting to retire later. The U.S. state of Georgia is divided into 159 counties, more than any other state except for Texas, which has 254 counties.Under the Georgia State Constitution, all of its counties are granted home rule to deal with problems that are purely local in nature. Six rural hospitals in the state have closed their doors since the beginning of 2013. width: 100% !important; Among rural hospitals, the Georgia Department of Community Health ranks Candler County’s facility as the. Glenwood’s mayor of 34 years, G.M. Most of the major trauma cases were already traveling the 30-plus minutes to Tift Regional or a hospital in Valdosta, he said. Top 159 counties in Georgia ordered by the highest population density. tr.odd {background: #E5E5E5; } One way or another, the size and scope of care at many rural hospitals has to be reduced to beat the bottom line pressures. A loss of working-age adults could also lead to revenue declines for states and localities, depending on how their tax systems are structured. Millions of dollars were spent on races for the Michigan, Ohio and Illinois high courts. padding-right: 7px; The hospital authority that operates Tift Regional Medical Center, based in nearby Tift County, acquired Cook County’s hospital in July 2012. The costs of keeping the emergency room open, combined with general upkeep for the deteriorating building, were unsustainable. Transplants from each of those states brought more than $1 billion in annual adjusted gross income (AGI) to Georgia over the past two decades, contributing to a $15.78 billion gain for the state. A recent map of Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Census Bureau data, called “How Money Walks: How $2 Trillion Moved Between the States, and Why It Matters,” shows how people and their incomes moved across state and county lines between 1992 and 2013. You also agree to our Terms of Service. Despite gaining 7,154 new residents (most of them from Fulton County), it lost $1.11 billion in annual AGI.

How does this trend look in Georgia and metro Atlanta? Republicans scored a net gain of one governorship, adding to their lead. “You don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five months,” Candler County Commission Chairman Glyn Thrift said last month. Losing a sizable number of residents in their prime working ages carries numerous implications. Many non-urban counties have seen a decrease in population over the past year (orange). It finally closed its doors for good in June 2014. David Ralston, the speaker of the Georgia House and a Republican from rural Blue Ridge, said the state “did the financially prudent thing when we decided not to expand Medicaid.”. The most recent actual retirement age for those surveyed averaged 61 years. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! It’s something they’ve always had.”. As many as 700 more are at risk of closing within the next 10 years, according to Alan Morgan, the CEO of the National Rural Health Association, a nonprofit professional organization that lobbies on rural health issues. Where the Working-Age Population Is Declining and Why It Matters Some counties are losing people in their prime working years, creating potential challenges for local governments. color: #000; NOTE: This story has been updated -- some statistics reported in a prior version of this story were incorrect. The facility, located in the town of Metter, owes another $1.8 million in additional notes and liabilities. Where Government is Going – One Headline at a Time Delivered to your inbox everyday. After the Lower Oconee Community Hospital. “The problem with Georgia is you have a higher percentage of low-income people, a higher percentage of people who are uninsured, and you have a higher percentage of health disparities,” said Morgan, the head of the National Rural Health Association. HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today. After the Lower Oconee Community Hospital shut down in June 2014, other mainstays of the community followed. In fact, most of the counties that saw the largest percentage drops in working-age adults are seeing other segments of the population grow or remain steady. In the last year alone, more than a third of Georgia’s small towns lost population, underscoring the challenges of reviving rural areas.