Atlanta hospitals see ED visits rise after 2 area medical centers close

Two Atlanta hospitals are reporting an increase in emergency department visits since Wellstar closed two hospitals in the city in 2022, Atlanta Daily World reported June 9.

Both Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Atlanta Hospital confirmed to Atlanta Daily World that their ER visits have gone up since the two formerly Wellstar-operated facilities were shuttered. Emory officials said its ER visit volume has increased by 30 percent and Piedmont said its numbers have more than doubled, the outlet reported.

However, these increases could be due to other circumstances and were not explicitly tied to the two facility closures in the outlet's report. 

The closures of Atlanta Medical Center and Atlanta Medical Center South initially drew concerns from both the Fulton County Commission and the NAACP since the facilities served a large percentage of Black individuals and argued that Wellstar's decision to close them would negatively affect the populations the facilities served. 

However, the CFO and CEO of Wellstar defended the system's decision and disputed allegations of racism related to its decision to close the facilities.

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