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Grady Hospital to get $130M, 200 beds to offset closing of Atlanta Medical Center, Kemp says

The new funding and expansion plan was announced by Gov. Brian Kemp in a press conference on Thursday.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp announced a plan Thursday to inject new money into Grady Hospital and help it expand to offset for the closure of Atlanta Medical Center.

The governor said in a press conference at the Capitol that $130 million would go to Grady out of Georgia's remaining American Rescue Plan Act money, which will allow the hospital to add 200 beds.

With Grady already adding 40 beds by Nov. 1, Kemp said expanded capacity at Grady would be "more than enough" to cover the average patient intake at AMC.

Atlanta Medical Center is due to close in November, an announcement by Wellstar last month that caught state and local leaders by surprised - and which has generated a considerable political outcry against the healthcare provider.

With AMC due to close in a matter of weeks, Kemp also said a temporary medical unit established by the state at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic - which accommodate 24 patient rooms - would be turned over to Grady as it works to get its new beds online over the coming months.

The closing of AMC will remove one of two Level 1 trauma centers in metro Atlanta - the other being Grady.

RELATED: Kemp, metro Atlanta leaders to make announcement in response to AMC's expected closure

Fulton County Commission Chairman Rob Pitts, who was at Thursday's press conference, has previously said local leaders concluded there was "no legal recourse to prevent this closure."

Instead they have focused on supporting Grady - already previously announcing an $11 million special one-time payment to the hospital.

Kemp said Thursday the announcement that AMC would close brought a "sudden and complicated challenge to the healthcare infrastructure of our capital city" and that "the decision to close was no one's preference, but our job now is to move forward and find viable a viable solution to the needs of the impacted community."

The governor said the newly-announced $130 million comes on top of another $130 million secured for Grady earlier this year through a change to the reimbursement formula of the Georgia Aid Program, which will now provide reimbursement payments for patients on public health programs more in line with the reimbursement payments the hospital gets from private health insurance patients.

"Our goal is to see these investments strengthen Grady's long-term ability to serve patients who would have otherwise chosen AMC," Kemp said.


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