Tuesday, September 5, 2017

North Georgia Healthcare

Now is a lousy time to get sick. In fact, there is no good time to get sick. But if we had our druthers we would choose our time - like 3 months ago.

Healthcare has been in the headlines for, well … as long as there has been healthcare. Measuring the quality of facilities is a challenge, as it’s difficult to assign an objective number with so many variables in play. Thus, we’ll refer to only a single “best” list here in favor of broader discussion.

Availability of nearby quality healthcare is vital to a community and its residents’ peace of mind. This becomes increasingly important as one approaches retirement.

North Georgia offers a broad variety of medical services, from hospitals, medical centers & trauma centers of every level, to outpatient facilities & walk-in urgent care clinics.

Of the 10 Best Hospitals in Georgia, eight are in North Georgia, the others in Macon & Savannah. Each has strengths in various specialties. When one is in need of critical care for a specific condition, proximity to a facility obviously becomes less of a deciding factor in seeking the best available treatment.

Four major heathcare systems cover North Georgia, with 3 of the 4 concentrated in different sections of the state.

Emory facilities are sited on a less regional basis, with newer centers surrounding Atlanta.

Northside has expanded to the northeast from its north Atlanta / Sandy Springs hub.

Piedmont originated in the heart of Atlanta, and it has expanded to the east & south.

WellStar is currently the primary provider covering northwest Georgia.

Expansion might take place at a more accelerated pace were it not for the Certificate of Need (CON) program. A healthcare institution’s CON application must demonstrate that a market is underserved for services they propose to offer, and their addition will not create unnecessary duplication.
Such applications can result in lawsuits & delay, with one or more competing providers opposing a new entrant into a market they claim to adequately serve. Providers often simply purchase existing medical practices to bypass the CON process.

Other hospitals & health systems not owned by the four largest providers include Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, DeKalb Medical, Gwinnett Medical Center & Atlanta Medical Center.

In this list of all Georgia Hospitals some links no longer function. If the link to a facility of interest does not properly connect, try a Google search by hospital name to determine if the center perhaps closed or merely changed its website.

As North Georgia’s population increases we can expect to see ever-expanding healthcare systems, continuing to provide improved services for all.


US News & World Report
Emory Healthcare
Northside Hospital
Piedmont Healthcare
WellStar Health System