GA charity hospital saved by record $200 million gift

Readers of sister publication FierceHealthcare have doubtless caught occasional bulletins on the health of Grady Memorial Hospital, one of the nation's largest charity hospitals. The hospital, which is staffed by doctors from the Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine, is the region's only Level 1 trauma center. However, about 30 percent of its patients are uninsured, and 40 percent are covered by Medicaid or Medicare, both money-losers for many services. Last year it was $48 million in the red, and on the verge of losing its accreditation after a poor CMS review. However, a large new gift may give it some hope, if not a completely new lease on life. The hospital will soon receive $200 million from a private foundation with ties to Coca-Cola, the largest gift on record to a single public hospital according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Even with the gift, the facility faces many continuing challenges. For one thing, state lawmakers didn't approve a $10 fee on license renewals that would have gone to funding the state's trauma network, though it did set aside moneys that will include $24 million for Grady. Also, a new Bush administration rule could deny Grady and other hospitals badly-needed disproportionate share funds. In the mean time, however, the hospital seems to be in a position to stay open.

To learn more about Grady's problems:
- read this New York Times article

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