Dorminy Medical Center will close its labor and delivery department, effective March 2,2020.
FITZGERALD, Georgia – Dorminy Medical Center, citing low volume, high costs and low reimbursements, has announced the closure of the hospital’s birthing center, effective March 2, 2020. “The decision to stop delivering babies at DMC was not reached lightly”, said Stacie Mims, CEO/CNO. Mims said they have closely monitored the obstetrics service line for several years and the department has been experiencing underutilization for a while. On average it takes approximately 300 births per year for a labor and delivery unit to financially break even while DMC has consistency delivered approximately 100 babies per year for the last three years.
Throughout the United States many hospitals have seen a decline in obstetric service areas as it appears more women are choosing larger systems for their OB/GYN care, especially in rural areas. Mims noted that about two thirds of potential births from Ben Hill County have been delivered in larger neighboring hospitals. “As a result, the small number of deliveries at Dorminy Medical Center is not sustainable,” said Mims. Ultimately, it was found to be too expensive and financially challenging to operate such a low volume birthing center.
Mims stated that “this decision is no reflection upon the quality of care our OB/GYN physicians, pediatricians, and nurses have provided to mothers and babies. We consider them among the best of the best and know this change will be difficult for our caring staff.” While 15 employees at DMC will be affected, no jobs will be lost. DMC administration met with those employees and has offered them the opportunity to transfer to other positions within the facility. Though DMC is saddened at the loss of the labor and delivery service, it is excited for the hospital’s future. Mims advises that “the changes will ultimately improve our operations and allow the facility to focus resources on services that our patients are using most.”
Citizens of Ben Hill County are fortunate that there are facilities that provide OB/GYN care in the surrounding counties. In addition, medical care will be available to pregnant women who need emergency services. The DMC emergency department is available 24/7 to assess and stabilize patients until they can be transported to another facility.
Patients are encouraged to call Dorminy Medical Center during normal business hours at 229-424-7100 with any questions they might have.