The Affordable Care Act negatively impacts Southern Regional Medical Center

By CASSIE GALLI

Southern Regional Medical Center located in South Atlanta has had to make major changes to their Health system within the last two years due to the Affordable Care Act.

Southern Regional Medical Center has decreased staffing, changed job responsibilities, as well as decreased employee benefits and put on hiring freezes. The hospital administrators say this is because of a decline in the number of patients, because of the Affordable Care Act.

“Most hospitals are downsizing staff and service lines in the hopes to survive. We have gone through two layoffs in the past six months. We have eliminated vacant positions, offered early retirement packages and job eliminations. The lack of funds has made it difficult to repair or purchase needed equipment,” said Rebecca Long, OB/GYN Clinical Nurse Manager, Southern Regional Medical Center.

The Affordable Care Act has led to a decrease in the number of patients. Now the remaining staff worries about the stability of the organization. Many of the hospital employees are voluntarily leaving.

“I’m not worried about obtaining a job initially because I will have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is becoming the new standard. Most hospitals are aiming to have BSN or higher level nurses, and I think the two year programs will begin to fade out over time,” said Heather Banks, a KSU Nursing Student.

Since the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are becoming more particular and are trying to persuade hospitals to decrease the cost of the workforce that cares for an ill patient. That means an increase in patient loads and a decrease in pay. Southern Regional Medical Center is already experiencing both of these issues.

Southern Regional Medical Center employees are staying active and positive while dealing with the effects of Affordable Care Act.

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