Losing even more of our rural facilities would be detrimental to the state of Georgia. Thankfully, our lawmakers realize the importance of hospitals in a community and went to work to help make Georgia a leader in rural health care. During the 2016 General Assembly, the state legislature passed the Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program, which has provided a remarkable opportunity for Georgia’s rural hospitals. Legislative improvements made in 2018 such as making the tax credit equal to the amount donated resulted in the program being an overwhelming success for hospitals and taxpayers. Millions of dollars have been donated to our hospitals, helping them provide better access to care, make important infrastructure upgrades, and improve facilities that will directly benefit the hospitals.
The hospital tax program is a win-win for hospitals as well as the patients they serve. The program awards state income tax credits to individuals and corporate taxpayers who contribute to the 58 qualified rural hospital organizations (RHO) in Georgia. According to Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment), from 2018 through 2021, Georgia taxpayers can access a maximum of $60 million of RHO tax credits each year. The General Assembly placed limits on individuals and corporations to ensure that as many Georgians as possible could support rural hospitals. The 2018 cap was met within days of the legislative effective date, illustrating the fact that communities all over Georgia recognize the importance of rural hospitals and the care they provide. More than 90 percent of all donations came from individuals.
It is no secret that hospitals are important to their communities. Beyond caring for the sick and injured, in many regions, hospitals are the largest employer. This is especially true in rural areas. The latest Georgia Hospital Association Economic Impact Report indicates our hospitals have made a $49 billion impact on the economy, with rural hospitals accounting for over $5.5 billion of the total. Rural hospitals provide almost 30,000 full time jobs and support almost 70,000 jobs in their respective communities.
The Center for Rural Health is a department within the Georgia Hospital Association that represents the interests of Georgia's small rural hospitals, which we define as an acute care or critical access hospital that meets one of the following criteria:
There are 74 hospital members of the Center for Rural Health.
The Center for Rural Health is governed by a board of trustees comprised of 11 small rural hospital CEOs, the president of GHA (ex-officio), and the executive director of The Center for Rural Health. The executive director has dual reporting responsibilities to GHA executive leadership as well as the governing board of the Center.
The Mission of the Center for Rural Health is to represent the needs of Georgia’s small and rural hospitals in a manner that promotes accessibility to high quality and cost-efficient health care, and to act as a central agency for the study, discussion, resolution, and dissemination of ideas and information that addresses problems faced by small and rural hospitals.
For more information on the Center for Rural Health, please contact Chuck Adams at (770) 249-4500.
Wayne Memorial Hospital
Fannin Regional Hospital
Jasper Memorial Hospital
Liberty Regional Medical Center
Optim Medical Center - Screven
At Large Trustees
Floyd Polk Medical Center
Bleckley Memorial Hospital
Phoebe Worth Medical Center
*Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)
*Prospective Payment System Hospitals (PPS)
For a map view please click here.
Payroll Deduction Calculator (password protected)
Department of Revenue Proposed Contribution Timeline
Center for Rural Health Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program Eligibility - Keri Conley, Associate General Counsel &
Carie Summers, VP Healthcare Financing, Georgia Hospital Association
Eligibility Flow Chart for SB 258- Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program
Grassroots Fundraising - Patti Lyons, Executive Partner, Pride Philanthropy
Rural Hospital Tax Credit: Legal Considerations - Sarah F. Kuipers, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Tax and Record Keeping for SB 258 - Jim Creamer, Partner & Bert Bennett, Partner, Draffin & Tucker
Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program (SB 258) - Audio File - C. Bert Bennett, Partner, Draffin & Tucker
Year-End Celebrating Our Success 09-07-16
Legislation enacted as part of the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 authorized States to establish a State FLEX Program under which certain facilities participating in Medicare can become CAHS. The following providers may be eligible to become CAHs:
For more information, click here.