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Plans unchanged for HMC

Published 11:17am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Decatur Morgan Hospital is still considering its options for the former Hartselle Medical Center building, according to hospital president Dean Griffin.

Those options include anything from opening an urgent care facility to leasing or selling some or all of the property.

“Nothing has changed,” Griffin said in a phone interview Friday. “We’re looking at all of the possibilities right now. That includes opening some type of medical facility or looking at other uses for the facility.”

As part of that, Griffin said Decatur Morgan Hospital has renewed HMC’s bed license for up to 130 beds, which is less than the 150 it had when it was owned by Cappella Healthcare.

“If we lost that bed license, we would likely lose our ability to have any type of inpatient care at the facility,” Griffin said. “Most counties, like Morgan County, are over-bedded and the likelihood of getting another bed license would be very difficult.”

In the past, officials with Huntsville Hospital have said that nothing would be done until the consolidation of the former Decatur General Hospital and Parkway Medical Center was complete.

Griffin, however, said that process isn’t necessarily true any more.

“I don’t think that would prevent us from doing anything in Hartselle right now,” Griffin said. “Granted, we might have more resources to do something in Hartselle if we waited until that consolidation was complete, but it’s not necessarily stopping us from expanding services into Hartselle.”

Griffin added that they are continuing to work with doctors and city leaders to provide what is needed in the Hartselle area.

However, he said that former patients of Dr. Andy Dukes can still pick up their charts and medical information at Dr. Sarah Styers’ office.

“You can pick up your medical charts through her office and take them to the doctor of your choice,” Griffin said.

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