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News Macon County approved for dialysis center

NC State Health Council members vote unanimously.

The North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council (SHCC) voted to unanimously approve Macon County’s Petition for Adjustment to Need Determination – essentially paving the way for a dialysis center to be built in the county.

Last week Commissioner Ronnie Beale traveled to Raleigh to hear the results of a vote from the Facilities Planning Section of the Health and Human Services Department. The Facilities Planning Section approved the county’s petition and sent it to the SHCC for a final vote.

Beale was in Raleigh once again on Wednesday, and reported that the SHCC approved five stations for the county. He added that it will likely take anywhere from six to 10 months for a center to become operable.

Commissioner Beale has diligently fought since June to show the state that not only does Macon County meet the criteria needed for a center, but also emphasized the urgent need for immediate action within the county.

County Manager Jack Horton said this was the last major hurdle to having a dialysis center in Macon County, and the council’s action clears the way to establish one here.

The Department of Health and Human Services regulates the development of all new healthcare facilities within the state, including dialysis centers, for which it analyzes and determines need on a county-by-county basis, as published in the State Medical Facilities Plan. With their approval, it is now up to the governor.

The recommendation from the SHCC will now go to Gov. Beverly Purdue’s office later this year for final approval, and with that, the county will be in line for a Certificate of Need for a center.

The SHCC will also perform a mid-year study of dialysis needs across the state, and that study could determine if there is a need for even more stations in Macon.

Once the Certificate of Need is approved, a private provider can apply to build and operate the dialysis center or occupy an existing building.

Members of the county’s board of commissioners were pleased with the outcome.


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