Two metro hospitals merge

Atlanta Medical Center and South Fulton Medical Center have officially consolidated in an effort to ensure financial stability in a rapidly changing health care marketplace.

The consolidation of the two hospitals, both owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp., has been in the works since last spring.

“We are pleased to provide even greater service to our patients by combining our strengths, providing quality health care to a larger region and offering a choice of locations,” Atlanta Medical Center CEO William Moore said.

The South Fulton facility in East Point has been renamed Atlanta Medical Center - South Campus. The hospital has struggled financially over the years and was in bankruptcy when Tenet bought it in 2001.

The new combined hospital will have 762 beds. Atlanta Medical Center is a teaching hospital in downtown Atlanta.

Smaller hospitals across the state, especially in rural areas, are partnering with larger hospitals that have the resources and economies of scale to meet changing market demands. Hospitals also face new requirements under the Affordable Care Act, such as expensive records systems and more attention to the quality of care.

“With health care reform, the writing is on the wall for a lot of smaller facilities that are really struggling financially,” said Kevin Bloye, a spokesman for the Georgia Hospital Association.

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