Once admired for its skill in treating a population afflicted by both social and physical ills, Grady, a teaching hospital, now faces the prospect of losing its accreditation. Only short-term financial transfusions have kept it from closing its doors, as Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles County did last year. That scenario would flood the region’s other hospitals with uninsured patients and eliminate the training ground for one of every four Georgia doctors.There are now almost 20% fewer public "safety net" hospitals than there were 15 years ago. But rather than Grady's well-known financial troubles, it may well be the Joint Commission that deals the killing blow:
Last month, the Joint Commission, the country’s leading health care accrediting agency, raised serious concerns about Grady’s status after observing numerous significant shortcomings during a five-day inspection. Although the commission has not yet released a public report, hospital officials, speaking anonymously, said the commission’s concerns included broken equipment, sanitation and the adequacy of staff supervision.Will Grady join MLK-Harbor as an anchor safety-net hospital closing its doors? And it's not just in Georgia that the county hospitals are crumbling. ABC reports on Parkland Hospital in Texas:
"I've brought people back that have been in the waiting room 24 hours," says nurse Bunni Mayfield as she scans the hallway for precious bed space. "It's pretty sad. People who come to county know it's going to happen."