Georgia HEART Program Continues to Be Game Changer for Rural Hospitals

January 10, 2022

Contact: Kate Saylor
Georgia HEART Hospital Program, LLC


Georgia HEART Program Continues to Be Game Changer for Rural Hospitals
Taxpayers reached cap in 2021 and have applied for $10 million in tax credits for 2022

Since the implementation of the Georgia Rural Hospital Organization (RHO) tax credit law in 2017, Georgia taxpayers have partnered with the Georgia HEART Hospital Program (HEART) to provide a total of $227 million in support of rural hospitals.

In 2021, the $60 million cap on available RHO tax credits was consumed by mid-September. As the marketing and administration manager for all 54 rural hospitals participating in the popular program, HEART has been appreciative of the overwhelming response of Georgians to the difficult operational and financial challenges facing rural hospitals.

“This program has been fundamental in ensuring that rural hospitals are able to continue to provide the best quality care to their patients,” said Lisa Kelly, HEART’s President. “The opportunity is a win-win for taxpayers wishing to satisfy some of their state income tax payments by helping enhance access to rural treatment.”

On January 4th, 2022, HEART submitted more than $10 million in tax credit applications to the Georgia Department of Revenue (“DOR”), exceeding the 2021 Opening Day submissions by nearly $9 million. 

Due to the cap being met in September of 2021 and considering a brand-new double tax benefit for pass-through businesses effective for 2022, Georgia HEART expects the 2022 tax credits to be exhausted much earlier in the year. Ongoing updates of the cap status will be posted to the HEART website home page at, reflecting current information released by the DOR.

As the 2022 General Assembly convenes today, HEART and its participating RHOs hope that the popularity of the credits in 2021 and the rise in early participation for 2022 will encourage legislators to increase the annual cap on this program to $100 million and extend the program beyond its present 2024 sunset date.