The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals is dedicated to furthering the ability of community hospitals to fulfill their primary mission of serving their communities. To this end, the Alliance will be a resource to members and a leader in advocating for sound health care policies and regulations.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
Putting Every Georgian Within the “Golden Hour” for Care
Georgia’s trauma care network is insufficient for our state population. With only 16 trauma hospitals, of which only five are designated “Level-1” centers, too many Georgians are outside of the “Golden Hour” after a trauma, when their life could be saved.
- 20 of Georgia’s 24 designated trauma centers, and all 10 “Level-I” and “Level-II” trauma centers are Not-For-Profit community hospitals.
- Georgia’s statewide trauma mortality rate is 20% higher than the national average, but designated trauma centers in Georgia have an 8% mortality rate, proving that timely access to advanced trauma care saves lives.
- Of the estimated 40,000 cases of major trauma each year in Georgia, only about 10,000 are treated in designated trauma centers.
- 2002 to 2015, emergency room visits have risen by nearly 50% to more than 3.8 million visits in 2015.
- Emergency room visits for mental or behavioral disorders have risen by as much as 59% accounting for more than 100,000 visits in 2014.
- Only one of Georgia’s five “Level-I” trauma care centers is south of Macon.
- Both of Georgia’s pediatric trauma care centers are in Metro Atlanta.
Ensuring Access for ALL Georgians
Community hospitals treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. The effects of the uninsured and underinsured on hospitals are mounting as more families face unemployment or unaffordable insurance costs. Identifying sustainable, reliable funding for health care services is vitally important to the future of Georgia’s Not-For-Profit hospitals and improvement of our trauma network.
- It is estimated that Georgia hospitals provided $1.7 billion in uncompensated care in 2015.
- The financial challenges faced by Georgia’s hospitals have been made even greater by the current epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses. Drug overdoses killed 1000 Georgians each of the last seven years, with a 30% increase during that period.
- For the uninsured and underinsured, hospitals are the first line of care. As a result, their care is costlier, costs are predominantly absorbed by hospitals, and patients have poorer health outcomes.
- Currently, 13.9% of the total state population is uninsured, ranking Georgia the 3rd highest in percentage of uninsured population.
- Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for providers are already lower than the costs to hospitals to provide the care. Federal proposals further cut Medicare and Medicaid imperil the hospital security net that protects all Georgians.
Building Communities by Maintaining Access to Care
Ensuring Georgians are able to get critical health care services is key to our viability as a state. The health of a population impacts not only quality of life, but also its economic health.
- No company will locate, nor do people choose to live, in communities without a hospital
- For hospitals to remain open and continue to provide quality care, we must identify revenue sources that address funding gaps in order to ensure Georgians can continue to het the care they need.
- It is also vital that Georgia maintains procedures and regulations that support existing providers without imposing undue burdens.
As we care for all of our neighbors and the health of the state as a whole, we need to support our community, not-for-profit hospitals and their ability to provide care to everyone.