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Georgia hospitals, cancer chain duel again over state rule

An old battle between Georgia's hospitals and a national cancer treatment chain flared up this fall.

Georgia's "certificate of need" process regulates expansion or construction of new hospitals. Cancer Treatment Centers of America in 2008 got lawmakers to add a new hospital category, allowing it to open in Newnan.

Now the chain wants a state agency to remove a cap on Georgia patients it can treat. Hospitals officials say that will erode the state's regulatory process. They say rural hospitals already struggling financially will be harmed if insured patients go elsewhere for treatment.

Some influential state lawmakers also aren't happy the company is seeking changes through a state agency.

Officials with Cancer Treatment Centers say the change would give patients more options and argue hospitals are trying to prevent competition.


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