Charity Care: Vital to Patients in Emory Healthcare (2008)

Charity Doctor

Last year, many patients arrived at Emory in desperate need of specialized care but without the resources to pay for it.

  Charity Care

Let Us Worry About That

When Catastrophe Outpaces Insurance

When Children with Cancer Grow Up

Lifting the Burden of Being a Burden

Almost 1.7 million Georgians have no health insurance. Most of the uninsured are part of working families, and two-thirds have incomes less than half of the federal poverty line. Many were among the 1.3 million working Americans who had lost health insurance the previous year. Others were surprised to find their health insurance depleted or their insurers refusing to approve needed procedures or medicines. 

Every hospital in Georgia sees patients like these, but patients with extremely complex and challenging illnesses that in many cases have already eaten up family resources and insurance coverage are disproportionately referred to Emory. When these patients arrive, Emory doctors do what they have always done: provide the best and most compassionate care possible, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. 

Table of Numbers for Fiscal Year 2007-2008

In 2007–2008, Emory Healthcare physicians provided $29.2 million* in charity care, a total that does not include care provided by Emory physicians practicing at partner institutions such as Grady Memorial Hospital.

"Charity care" comes in two forms: (1) Indigent care refers to care provided to patients with no health insurance, not even Medicare or Medicaid. (2) Catastrophic care refers to care provided to patients who have some coverage but whose medical bills are so large that paying them would be permanently life-shattering. Classifications like these are important for record-keeping, but they all come down to the same thing for patients: access to lifesaving care that otherwise would have been impossible. 

economic impact