Healthcare & Rural Georgia

September 28, 2017

"With 39 percent of the central Georgia [Wheeler] county’s population living in poverty, there aren’t enough patients with good insurance to keep a hospital from losing money."


“The Southeast of the U.S. is where things are going horribly wrong. You’ve got higher levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension ― you pick up any health disparity or measure and it’s there,” 


"Fifteen percent of non-elderly residents are uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and that’s 5 percent higher than the rest of the country. The South also has the largest cluster of states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act"


"At the same time, many uninsured people have come to rely on emergency room care. Under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986, hospitals are required to screen and stabilize patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, which means hospitals often end up absorbing the costs associated with those patients. This is called “bad debt.”

Meanwhile, financial help from the federal government has decreased in recent years. Due to sequestration, Medicare payments have been reduced."


“The problem with Georgia is you have a higher percentage of low-income people, a higher percentage of people who are uninsured, and you have a higher percentage of health disparities,” said Morgan, the head of the National Rural Health Association.


These are recent quotes from this article published at Georgia Health News.  To learn more about how the rural healthcare crisis is crippling hospitals with "bad debt," and how that is affecting our overall economy, read it.



Do you know one of the reasons why a non-profit medical clinic, like the Mercy Medical Clinic, is so important?  Because, for the uninsured, the ER is the only option for treatment when they get sick. They don't have insurance, therefore they can't find a doctor who will see them.  And, since these individuals usually work minimum wage paying jobs, they cannot afford to pay their ER bill or afford the medications suggested.


Wheeler county is located approximately 30 miles from Toombs county, where The Mercy Ministries' medical clinic is located, but the same kind of health crisis exists in Toombs county, and in the eight or nine surrounding counties Mercy offers services to. 


There's a high population of people living in poverty who cannot afford health insurance, and hospital ER's cannot afford to treat them all.


Meadows Health hospital of Vidalia has been wonderful working with The Mercy Ministries, as they recognize Mercy goes a long way at filling in the gap, taking care of indigent care patients who would otherwise end up in their ER.  They realize that, without The Mercy Ministries, the number of ER bills accumulated by non-insured patients, would increase dramatically.


That's just one reason why The Mercy Ministries is so important!  We're helping keep uninsured patients out of the ER, thus keeping the hospital's "bad debt" level down. 



Yes, we're helping individuals in the community, but we're also helping the hospital, those employed by the hospital, and the overall economy of Toombs county.  The article mentioned above shares how quickly the economy of a county will plummet if the local hospital suffers.  


So, when you donate to The Mercy Ministries, you truly are helping us reach individuals with God's love, but you're also helping the financial stability of this beautiful and blessed rural area of Georgia.  


Thank you for helping us put God's love in action!  Together, we're going to continue working this problem of poverty in and around Toombs county ... and, together, we're going to make a lasting difference!

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