Is Atlanta's Grady Hospital doing its job?

For more than 100 years, Atlanta's Grady Hospital has been the health care provider for the region's poor and uninsured, but in 2007, it faced a crisis. Grady, the largest public hospital in the state, was threatened with loss of accreditation, and it had a multi-million dollar budget deficit. Under pressures from Atlanta's business leaders, the politician-dominated Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority turned over day-to-day management of the hospital to a private non-profit board. The Board raised more than 300 million dollars for improvements and instituted sweeping management changes.

Within two years, from both a health and budgetary view, things were looking better. But the weakened economy hit Grady hard; last year more than 67,00 new patients sought health care at Grady, further strapping limited resources. To cover projected budget shortfalls, two community clinics were closed. Now some community leaders and theFulton County government is questioning whether the hospital is meeting its mission.

This project examines how well Grady Hospital, under new management and during these tough economic times is meeting its mission of providing care to the poor.

Three stories were produced that aired on WABE. Atlanta's NPR affiliate, during the morning national drive-time news show, Morning Edition. These stories, averaging 5 minutes each aired on three days in January, 2012, during the 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock hour.

The stories examined Grady's budget, Grady's new management and its plans to increase revenue, and how primary care services can reduce Grady's costs and provide more comprehensive health care to its patients.


Part 1: Is it meeting its mission?

Part 2: A new board, new directions

Part 3: Keeping people out of the emergency department -- Primary care

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