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Crisis De Salud: Grady will be held accountable

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Crisis De Salud: Grady will be held accountable

Picture of Linda Perez
Grady will be held accountable
Fulton commissioners question some hospital procedures and the management of their resources.
Mundo Hispánico
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Members of the Board of Commissioners of Fulton want to finally resolving the situation of former patients of the outpatient clinic of Grady Hospital dialysis and even questioned the close of this center last year.

At its meeting on Wednesday, September 1, the board passed a resolution requiring Grady to submit a plan short and long term to ensure dialysis for Fulton residents who are poor or uninsured.

This includes 18 of the 38 patients who lost their treatment provider when Grady closed last year his clinic and others in the future are diagnosed with kidney disease and require this procedure to live.

In addition, the board asked Grady to reconsider its decision to close the outpatient clinic, it has doubts about its validity.

"As I understand should not have closed the clinic. There are many questions surrounding that decision, "he told MundoHispánico Emma Darnell, the commissioner who asked the board to consider the issue of dialysis patients.

Leak under the magnifying glass

When the clinic closed in September last year, Grady said that he represented a loss of between 2 and 4 million dollars annually. But there are still doubts.

"Our accountants have been established through the means that are available to the deficit, Grady says led him to close the clinic," he said during the meeting Commissioner Darnell.

To clarify this point, MundoHispánico repeatedly attempted to communicate with Matt Gove, a spokeswoman for Grady, but did not return calls or emails.

On the other hand, Darnell said there are inconsistencies in Grady's finances, including the fact that the year just closed the clinic, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the hospital, Michael Young, received a bonus of almost $ 300 000.

This bonus was given to Young in addition to his base salary of $ 615 000 per year.

"How will I explain to the people who elected me to shut the dialysis clinic and a medical center in our community and that Mr. Young received this bonus?" Said Darnell.

"Every year, we (Fulton and DeKalb counties) provide you (Grady) 80 million dollars to serve the poor and are not doing," said Darnell.

Pete Correll, chairman of the Grady board, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the subsidy was justified because since Young is in charge of the hospital, it had shifted from a deficit millionaire Millionaire also have a surplus.

More than money? 

Experts in the field of health have suggested that behind the closure of the outpatient clinic is not only economic reasons.

For public health professor at George Washington University, Leighton Ku, the fact that several of the patients are undocumented status makes this a political issue.

"I suspect that behind this political interests and a clear intention not to help illegal immigrants," said Ku.

MundoHispánico recently discovered that the staff of the Board of Commissioners of Fulton was inquiring about the number of former clinic patients who were undocumented Grady and Hispanics.

According to Anthony 
 Nicks, internal auditor of Fulton County and who acts as liaison between the Board of Commissioners, and Grady, this is only made to corroborate information that Grady had provided.

"I do not know why Grady was asking the immigration status. The only thing that interests us is to ensure that the hospital will ensure treatment for all patients, "said Nicks.

Commissioner Darnell and Nicks agreed that the fact that some patients are undocumented does not affect the intentions you have to press the board to give them treatment.

According to Darnell, at the time of disbursing the money to Grady, the only thing required by Fulton County Hospital is to prove that the people who tried and why they are paying are county residents.

"We have no procedure for establishing whether a person is undocumented or not. Our contract only required to verify whether patients are residents of Fulton, "said Darnell.

MundoHispánico Grady tried to question about the verification procedure of the legal status of patients, but received no response.

The research "Health Crisis" on former Grady dialysis patients is a project supported by The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

See solution 

At press time had not released details of an alleged contract to ensure dialysis treatment for 38 patients who were treated at the outpatient clinic of Grady. On August 31, Grady won the contract signed with the private provider Fresenius to give treatment to all patients. However, all were informed that they should continue going to the Fresenius clinics until further notice.

Last week it was announced that several private providers, including Fresenius, DaVita and Emory would take over temporarily to treat some patients and Grady, probably through Fresenius, would take the rest.