FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- A new study shows the number of people dying in rural hospitals is on the rise, but a local hospital CEO is disputing that.
Kay Floyd is the CEO of Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth. She fears the study by the Harvard School of Public Health paints critical-access hospitals in rural areas in a negative light.
The study found a rise in mortality rates for patients with heart failure, pneumonia and heart attacks between 2002 and 2010.
Floyd says the results are skewed because it includes patients who are on a "do-not-resuscitate" list--usually older patients who basically come to the hospital to die. Her hospital doesn't include DNR patients in their statistics, and the results are quite different from the study.
"When we factor out from our data what we call "do not resuscitate" patients, our mortality rate is unusually low," says Floyd.
There are more than 30 critical access or rural care hospitals in the state of Georgia. The researchers found a nearly 2 percent increase in death rates among 10 million Medicare patients over an 8-year-period. The authors of the study believe critical access hospitals may need to revamp their policies to provide better care. For more information on these types of hospitals, and the mortality rates there, click here.