Atlanta's safety net at Grady


Atlanta's safety net at Grady

From a minor illness to full blown AIDS

A second chance at life

Three times daily with food

With health care costs continuing to increase, along with the number of people unable to pay them, many Atlantans feared that the city’s safety net hospital would close, throwing the city’s health care system into disarray.

Emory medical faculty and residents working at the publicly funded Grady Memorial Hospital kept their eyes on the goal: care for the thousands of patients who pass through Grady’s doors each year: 27,571 admissions, 113,849 adult emergency department visits, and 689,152 outpatient visits in 2008. Everyone knew that neither Emory nor Morehouse School of Medicine would ever be reimbursed for much of this care, provided to the city’s indigent, uninsured, and underinsured patients. 

During fiscal year 2008–2009, Emory physicians at Grady provided roughly $23.1 million in uncompensated care. Any payments they did receive went to the Emory Medical Care Foundation, which plowed every cent back into Grady: $28.9 million in fiscal year 2008–2009, used to upgrade equipment and support vital services provided by Emory medical faculty at the hospital. 

Grady’s survival seems more likely now, thanks to help from leaders of the city’s diverse business and philanthropic community. Last year, despite its own budgetary pressures, Emory School of Medicine forgave $20 million of the $60+ million in debt that the Grady Health System owed the medical school for services rendered. Their reason was simple: “The community needs Grady, and Grady needs us.”    

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