Wellstar closing ER, hospital beds at struggling East Point site, still seeks partner

Wellstar Overall health Method in current a long time has been checking out possibilities – like a sale or partnership — for its Atlanta Clinical Center and an affiliate healthcare facility in East Stage.

A various option unfolded Wednesday: Wellstar announced that it is changing the 200-mattress East Issue healthcare facility into a key treatment, outpatient and rehabilitation heart.


The ER and clinic beds will close May possibly 6. The AMC South facility now runs the closest unexpected emergency section to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Wellstar, however, said the greater part of individual visits to AMC South unexpected emergency area are for reduce stages of care that can be far better met by key treatment,  medication administration and other solutions. ER visits to the AMC South have averaged 140 a working day, but just seven led to hospital admissions.

Wellstar’s president and CEO, Candice Saunders, said in a assertion to GHN that “we are giving the care that our individuals are applying and furnishing it in a way that will aid avert overall health problems from escalating. We are not closing Atlanta Medical Centre South or leaving the community. We are simply maximizing the treatment that is becoming utilized – like most important care, treatment treatment, and rehabilitative treatment.”

Equally of the AMC hospitals have been struggling fiscally. American Healthcare facility Directory, in information noted earlier this year, mentioned the two put together with a slight $850,000 financial gain on $2 billion in revenues. The two hospitals had prolonged suffered complications with getting older infrastructure.

Past year, a Wellstar advisory board termed for the nonprofit system to inject extra methods and more hard work into invigorating the two hospitals.

“The evidence of an genuine prepare and acceptable method appears non-existent for revitalizing the AMC Downtown and East Level hospitals,’’ mentioned a letter from the chairman of the advisory board for the two hospitals, sent to the chairman of the Wellstar Health Method board of trustees.

Atlanta Health-related Heart in Atlanta


The letter, from Lisa Medellin, chairman of the volunteer board, was received by Georgia Overall health News.

The group’s objective is to guarantee that “the underserved and disenfranchised individuals/residents are provided a voice that outcomes in them getting access to the same excellent of health and fitness treatment services made available in many of the suburban hospitals that comprise the Wellstar umbrella,’’ the letter explained.

Saunders claimed in a assertion Wednesday that “as Georgia’s most significant basic safety internet caregiver, we are committed to serve absolutely everyone in our community and will continue to do so.”

The Marietta-centered process is still looking for a economic spouse for the two services, sector officers said.


AMC South


Lots of of AMC South’s individuals had been on Medicaid or Medicare, which pay out less than personal insurance coverage, or had been uninsured.

“I know they do have a large percentage of uninsured or underinsured sufferers that they serve at that facility,” East Point Mayor Deana Ingraham instructed the AJC.

The space will however have EMS protection, but ambulances will take emergency people to hospitals these types of as Southern Regional Health care Middle, Grady Memorial Clinic and the most important campus of Atlanta Professional medical Center.

No staff will eliminate jobs in the changeover.

“We can validate that of people team members relocating, all will carry on in the Wellstar Overall health Technique, should they decide on, with the greater part, most likely, serving at Atlanta Health-related Center Key,” said David Jones, chief human resources officer for Wellstar.

Wellstar is presently also working with a protracted contract dispute with UnitedHealthcare.

The most important campus of Atlanta Health care Center has a distinguished history. Initially an infirmary launched in 1901 by a neighborhood Baptist pastor who was also a health practitioner, it grew promptly and was recognised for a long time as Georgia Baptist Clinic. Later it became Georgia Baptist Health care Heart.

For decades it was a single of the state’s most outstanding health and fitness treatment services, but its fortunes waned after the middle of the 20th century as level of competition enhanced and the space exactly where it is found declined economically.

That spot is the equally historic Outdated Fourth Ward of Atlanta, which in the previous couple of decades has witnessed a wave of authentic estate progress and attracted an influx of new citizens. Sadly, the hospital’s affected individual mix however does not reflect the economic gentrification of the community, the advisory board’s letter reported final 12 months.

Meanwhile, Wellstar AMC South sits in a higher-poverty community that, without a clinic, would be a “health care desert,’’ the letter said.

“Both hospitals serve a predominately lower-revenue African-American population that have the load of wellness disparities on almost each individual continual illness indicator that is a marker for staying at better possibility relative to COVID-19, decrease lifestyle expectancy and better overall health care prices for treatment method,’’ Medellin wrote.

Josh Berlin, CEO of the consulting agency rule of 3, reported the East Position transfer to major care “advances Wellstar’s competitive positioning with Piedmont and Emory, amongst the advancing independent primary treatment clinics now about Atlanta, as properly as about the Ga current market.”

He added, “The question lengthier time period will be is this a way for Wellstar to amplify its small business inside Atlanta’s Perimeter, wherever their main emphasis is however outside the house the Perimeter.”

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