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Health Quality

Kaiser continues expansion in metro Atlanta

Entrance to new Kaiser facility.

Entrance to new Kaiser facility in Sandy Springs

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia opened its 30th facility in the state Tuesday, with a new location in Sandy Springs.

The nonprofit health care organization said it has invested $6 million in the new primary care facility, which employs 60 and is located inside The Pavilion at Lake Hearn building near Northside Hospital.

Kaiser said the new facility  will provide primary care services previously offered at the nearby Glenlake site, which is being transformed into a center providing more specialized care.

The Sandy Springs office now offers adult medicine and behavioral health, as well as pharmacy, lab and X-ray services. Pediatrics and dermatology will become available there Oct. 1.

Kaiser has 29 facilities in metro Atlanta and one in Athens. It has been on an expansion track over the past four years, opening new medical offices in downtown Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Conyers, Fayetteville, Newnan, Douglasville, West Marietta, Holly Springs, Decatur and East Cobb. full story

5 health centers get $11 million from feds

Five Georgia community health centers will receive a total of $11 million in grants to expand and improve their services, the federal government announced Tuesday.

The Georgia money is part of $728 million nationally that will go to hundreds of community health centers across the country, under the 2010 health reform law.

A Stone Mountain health center highlighted in a recent Kaiser Health News article for scoring poorly on six care measures will get the largest amount awarded in Georgia. Oakhurst Medical Centers will receive $5 million to construct a larger facility.

Jeffrey Taylor, Oakhurst’s CEO, said the building will be in a more visible location, on Memorial Drive. “People now drive by our [current] facility and head to Grady’s emergency room,’’ Taylor told GHN. “They don’t know we’re there.’’

The new Oakhurst building will serve more people and provide more wellness activities, he said. Taylor said he believes it will help improve the center’s care. Many of the health center’s patients are refugees who have not had regular medical care, including children who have not received vaccinations.

The second-highest grant in Georgia is $4.9 million to the Neighborhood Improvement Project for a new building in south Augusta. full story

U.S. News ranks metro Atlanta hospitals

U.S. News & World Report has produced its first ranking of hospitals by metro area, and Emory University Hospital came out No. 1 in Atlanta.

The publication’s ranking of Emory nationally in 11 medical specialties helped push it to the top spot in metro Atlanta.

U.S. News is widely known for its rankings of colleges and graduate programs, and has done national hospital rankings for years. The hospital data, though, do not include information on how much procedures cost, a major consideration in decision making by consumers — especially those with high-deductible health plans.

Here’s the rest of the metro Atlanta top 10, and the link to the rankings:

2. Shepherd Center

3. Piedmont Hospital

4. Emory University Hospital Midtown

5. WellStar Kennestone Hospital full story

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