Taxpayers give $3.5 M-plus to help Phoebe patients in rural SW Ga.

Published 9:27 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

ALBANY — Georgia taxpayers earned nearly $3.5 million in tax credits by donating to Phoebe Worth Medical Center and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in 2018, through the Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment (HEART) tax credit program. “The rural hospital tax credit program was amazingly successful this year, with donations easily reaching the statewide cap of $60 million,” said Kim Gilman, Phoebe Worth CEO. “We are thrilled with the amount donors gave to our hospital in Sylvester.”
Phoebe Worth received donations totaling $2,566,453.14. “That is huge for our bottom line,” Gilman said. “It will allow us to pay for ongoing renovations to our facility, to buy new equipment and to recruit and retain well-qualified physicians and other clinicians who will provide quality care to patients right here in Worth County.”
Donors gave $901,937.25 to Phoebe Sumter. “So many rural hospitals in Georgia are struggling,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter CEO. “This program gives those hospitals a vital financial boost while also giving donors a chance to lower their tax bills. It truly is a win-win, and it will allow us to improve and expand our primary and specialty care services throughout our service area.”
Phoebe Sumter plans to use its donations for projects that include upgrading equipment for key clinical services, expanding clinical service offerings and community health initiatives, hiring new physicians and offsetting the millions of dollars in cost of uncompensated care each year.
“The best thing Georgia could do to help rural hospitals thrive and to provide insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Georgians would be to expand Medicaid,” said Joel Wernick, Phoebe Health System CEO. “In the absence of that expansion, which would increase reimbursements to Georgia hospitals by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, we appreciate state leaders’ support of the Georgia HEART program. It is an excellent way to strengthen the financial foundation of hospitals that provide critical services for our rural residents,” Wernick added.
Georgia HEART has begun accepting 2019 tax credit applications. “The program has become so popular that it will certainly reach the statewide cap again next year,” said Lunneborg. “We encourage those who want to support our rural hospitals to apply early to make sure they don’t miss out on the tax break.”
If you pay Georgia income taxes, you are eligible to receive a 2019 tax credit for contributing to your designated rural hospital as follows:
ndividual Filer – 100 percent of the amount contributed, up to $5,0
Married Filing Jointly – 100 percent of the amount contributed, up to $10,000
Pass-Through Entity – 100 percent of the amount contributed, up to $10,000, so long as they would have paid Georgia income tax in that amount on their share of taxable income from the pass-through entity
C-Corporation or Trust – 100 percent of the amount contributed or 75 percent of the corporation or trust’s Georgia income tax liability, whichever is less
After June 30, 2019, taxpayers may make unlimited contributions as long as the $60 million has not been met. Fifty-four rural hospitals throughout the state qualify for the program. You can apply to make your donation to Phoebe Worth or Phoebe Sumter at