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Mirror briefs

McDuffie Regional Medical Center CEO Doug Keir finally had enough. When he learned last week that nearly $150,000 of federal money owed the facility for indigent care would be delayed for the second time since February, he went to the top.

Mr. Keir contacted Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss as well as U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood to see what they could do to help alleviate the problem that is plaguing about 120 other hospitals across the state.

"I had e-mailed (the representative and senators) to indicate to them that this was inexcusable," Mr. Keir said.

The hospital had received half of what it was due in April, more than two months late. Mr. Keir had been informed that the rest would be on the way by June 30, the end of the state's fiscal year.

Mr. Keir said there had been some hold up at the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. The Georgia Hospital Association is working on the problem from several angles as well, he added.

MRMC, as with other rural hospitals, has struggled in recent years to pay for indigent care.

Web posted on Thursday, July 6, 2006

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