For Immediate Release: March 3, 2011
Contact: Denise Simpson
Phone: (404) 616-6855
In the wake of significant federal and county funding reductions, Grady Health System must make operational changes in order to continue providing quality health services with fewer dollars. Since 2007, Grady has improved efficiencies, resulting in increased revenue and lower expenses across the health system. But over the past four years, Grady's federal and county funding has been reduced by nearly $50 million while its indigent care costs have gone up by more than $40 million. This year alone, Grady is facing a $15-20 million reduction in federal money and a $6 million decrease in county dollars from the 2010 funding level.
"Grady is in a very difficult position between what the community needs and what the federal and county governments are able to fund," said Michael Young, Grady's president and CEO. "While these changes are necessary, every effort is being made to minimize the impact on our patients and the community. We will not sacrifice our high quality of care but these funding cuts mean we will have to adjust how much care we can deliver."
As previously announced, Grady is in the process of eliminating approximately 100 staff positions. None of these jobs are patient care positions. Cuts will occur across the board, but some are concentrated in areas where the EPIC electronic medical record system adds efficiency.
On April 4, the lowest co-pay for a prescription filled at a Grady outpatient pharmacy is going from $2 to $3. Homeless patients will now be asked to pay $1 per prescription and prescriptions written in the Emergency Department will now have a $10 co-pay to cover the higher cost of service in the ER. These changes mark the first increase in Grady pharmacy co-pays since March 2004.
The health system will also consolidate two neighborhood health centers into nearby centers. The South DeKalb NHC will merge with the DeKalb Grady NHC in the next 60 to 90 days. Otis Smith NHC will merge with Asa Yancey NHC during the same time frame.
These changes should help the health system offset about $10 million of the funding cuts. Work continues to determine what additional measures will be necessary to bring operational expenses in line with the reduced funding levels.
About Grady Health System
Grady Health System is one of the largest public health systems in the United States. Grady consists of the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, eight neighborhood health centers, Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center - and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, which is operated as a Children's affiliate.
With its nationally acclaimed Emergency Department and Burn Unit, Grady Health System has the only level I trauma center in the region and serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta. The state's only Poison Center is housed at Grady, as well.
The Diabetes Detection & Control Center, Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, Joint Commission Certified Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center and the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center are also notable components of the health system. Moreover, Grady's Infectious Disease Program was named one of the top three HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics in the country.
Other exceptional medical services include Grady's Regional Perinatal Center and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Primary Care Center, a dedicated 60 Plus service line for older adults, Teen Services, and the Rape Crisis Center.
Grady Memorial Hospital has been ranked 10th in Atlanta in U.S. News & World Report's first-ever Best Hospitals metro area rankings, available online at www.usnews.com/hospitals.