...It's possible that in the future, Fulton County, on behalf of Grady Memorial Hospital, could sue other county governments or the state for services rendered, if they don't pay for the work the state's only Level 1 trauma center does for their residents.
District-2 at-large Fulton County Commissioner Rob Pitts has been looking into this since June 8, asking County Attorney Paula Morgan Nash to research the legality of such a suit.
"My hope and prayer is that [the counties] would pay voluntarily," he said. "We pay what we owe them, and they pay what they owe us ... I think [political leaders in other counties] will come to understand there is a problem here and they have a stake in Grady Hospital, and everyone needs to pay their fair share." [Source: 6/27/2007 South Fulton Neighbor article "Pitts: County mulling lawsuits to help Grady collect on bills"]
I don't think that such a bad idea. According to the article, Grady still has $37,327,527 in outstanding bills from other counties, even after writing off $21,217,797. For the longest, Fulton and DeKalb county taxpayers have been paying for other counties in the metro-Atlanta area to use Grady. Now Grady is on the brink of collapse (Read the 11Alive article "Report Gives Grim Outlook for Grady").
I'm of the belief that desperate times calls for desperate measures, and these are very dire and desperate times for Grady Memorial Hospital. If these other counties owe Grady some money, then they need to cough it up. Unless, of course, they want to experience, what AJC columnist Cynthia Tucker calls, a "patient tsunami" if Grady closes its doors.