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Georgia HEART: Pioneering progress for rural healthcare

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Since its inception in 2017, the Georgia Rural Hospital Organization (RHO) tax credit initiative has improved the financial well‐being of rural hospitals and health outcomes throughout the state. Georgia taxpayer contributions have enabled eligible rural hospitals to strengthen their ability to deliver preventative, critical, and emergency medical care.  



Effective in 2023, legislators increased the program cap from $60 to $75 million, and enthusiasm was evident as Georgia taxpayers had applied for the entire $75 million of available credits by mid‐ November. Through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program (HEART), Georgia taxpayers have contributed an impressive $367 million to eligible rural hospitals since 2017.  



Uses of HEART funds have included expanded and updated services, as well as purchases of essential equipment, such as X‐ray detector, MRI machine, 3D mammogram equipment, and computed tomography (CT) equipment. These and other purchases have enhanced and modernized maternity and newborn care, operating room surgical care, diagnostic care and overall patient care.



Lisa Kelly, President of HEART, emphasized the program's impact: “This one‐of‐a‐kind, efficient mechanism for providing essential, direct funding for Georgia’s rural hospitals is invaluable throughout our state. The continuation of this impactful program beyond its current ‘sunset’ date of 2024 is crucial to the sustainability of our rural communities. Thank you to our legislature, in advance, for making this a priority for 2024.”

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