As a not-for-profit health system, Wellstar’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of every patient it serves, in every community it provides care. To better match the care provided with the services needed and sought, today Wellstar Health System announces a transition at Atlanta Medical Center South (AMCS). Beginning on May 6, 2022, AMCS’s inpatient hospital services will be consolidated to Atlanta Medical Center. In addition, AMC South will transition to a new model of care facility, providing outpatient services - primary and rehabilitative care – accessible to all patients in the East Point community, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“As Georgia’s largest safety net caregiver, we are committed to serve everyone in our community and will continue to do so,” said Candice Saunders, President and CEO of Wellstar Health System. “By refocusing the services AMC provides, we are providing the right care at the right place.”
Since 2016, Wellstar has continued to analyze and more deeply understand patient needs, matching the services provided to the care that’s being used. This process has included a thorough review of the types of services accessed at each campus, as well as health care services offered but not used. This process showed that Wellstar’s community needed a model of care that provided more preventative care to help individuals better manage their health issues and reduce the potential for those escalating into emergency care situations. Currently, the majority of patient visits to the AMC South emergency room are for lower levels of care that can be better met through the services that will be core of what AMC South’s new care model will provide – primary care, chronic, and medication-related care, to name just a few.
In 2019, Wellstar implemented a social determinants of health program at AMC that placed social worker case managers in the emergency departments as a resource for patients. The case managers perform assessments that capture medical and social needs and then assist patients with support and connecting them to community resources. The program has greatly reduced inpatient admissions for these patients by 42% and ER visits by 38%.
The services that led to these significant improvements in patient outcomes will be in place at AMC South and are the types of new models that Wellstar continues to implement in its commitment to helping communities continue to realize more equitable health results.
The consolidation of inpatient services at the AMC Main campus along with the addition of AMC South team members will continue to provide the same quality healthcare the community has come to expect – through inpatient, emergency department, psychiatric, intensive, and surgery care.
As a not-for-profit health system, the commitment to providing the right care in the right place for the whole community is one that Wellstar continues to invest in. In 2021 alone, Wellstar invested $915 million in un- and under-compensated care, reflecting its promise to serve all people in our communities. And in 2019, it launched the Wellstar Center for Health Equity to help address social determinants of health, working to help communities reach more equitable health outcomes.