Created: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:18:00 EST
Updated: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:27:50 EST
Medical Center of Central Georgia starts off the new year as it ended its last fiscal year, looking for creative ways to close a $30 million budget shortfall.
This time, the Medical Center enters what it terms a joint operating agreement and a partnership with Mid Georgia Ambulance, a private Macon company.
The Medical Center warns against seeing the agreement as a merger or acquisition. It says the companies will combine resources and reduce costs.
In a written statement, the Medical Center says the move was made to improve public safety, even though the public may not have known their safety had been lacking:
"it is a collaboration that will improve public safety by combining emergency response coverage, streamlining patient transfers, and pooling human capital and financial resources to add value for patients."
At the end of its last fiscal year in September, the Medical Center pointed to changes in medicaid and medicare compensation, as well as a decreasing demand for medical services as the reason for its financial problems.
It froze days off and vacation days to cut the shortfall. When that didn't prove enough, the hospital laid off 50 workers.
It still warned of a 2014 deficit of some $30 million with more cuts to come.