• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Fulton County filing DOJ complaint a lot more than Wellstar Wellness Plan hospital shutdowns – WABE


Mar 16, 2023

The Fulton County Commission is asking the United States Division of Justice to investigate Wellstar Wellness System’s existing closures of two Atlanta-area hospitals that have been positioned in majority-Black locations.

It is the third request for a federal complaint against Wellstar in a week.

Final week, a coalition of Democratic state lawmakers and Fulton and Dekalb officials announced they have been asking for investigations by the U.S. Division of Wellness and Human Options Workplace for Civil Rights and the Internal Revenue Service.

Now, Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday overwhelmingly authorized a resolution enabling the county lawyer to file a complaint with the Division of Justice.

This 1 will go straight to the Division of Justice, which has extra teeth. It has a substantial, robust enforcement division,” pointed out Chairman Robert Pitts.

He pointed out the hospital closures quantity to a violation of civil rights by Wellstar in Atlanta.

“It’s produced a healthcare desert in Central and South Fulton County. And quantity two, it is a classic instance of healthcare redlining.”

Wellstar has continued to expand outdoors the city, which incorporates in Augusta, precisely exactly where it lately announced intentions to merge with Augusta University Wellness Plan.

Wellstar officials denied the allegations in Fulton County’s resolution in two separate statements.

Citing financial losses final year of extra than $1 billion in uncompensated and charity care, the corporation referred to as the federal complaints an operate to “score low-expense political points.”

 “We ought to set the record straight about why Wellstar had to close AMC and why we are exploring options in Augusta. We spent extra than two years attempting to do so. In truth, our efforts to come across an extra all round wellness strategy companion and operate with government officials to come across a answer started proficiently prior to our selection was announced to close AMC in 2022. This incorporated direct discussions with policymakers in Fulton County, which incorporates Chairman Pitts, as early as February 2020. Sadly, regional policymakers declined to give any support to AMC as they rightly have and do with the other safety net hospital in Atlanta,” Wellstar’s statement reads.

The resolution passed with 1 no vote from District 1 Commissioner Bridget Thorne.

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