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Opinion: Another healthcare crisis—closing hospitals

Roanoke Times, March 10, 2014

Lower Oconee Community Hospital in southern Georgia closed its doors this month, eliminating 25 hospital beds and up to 100 hospital jobs. This was the fourth Georgia hospital to fold in two years and the eighth rural hospital in the state to close since 2000. Lower Oconee's shutdown may not have registered much media coverage, but those in search of medical attention in Glenwood, Ga., should be mindful that the closest hospital is now 30 miles away. Whether viewed as the fallout of modern health care's transition from cost-based to performance-driven measures or simply as collateral damage from the effects of partisan politics, the trend of hospital closures in the U.S. has failed to command the attention it deserves.