Workforce Shortages in Georgia

Guest Blog by Michelle Putnam, HealthSTAT

If you think you’d like to get a physical or a check-up in 2014, you better make your appointment now.  That’s what some would have you believe about the shortage of doctors come 2014, when health coverage will be expanded to about 33 million more people.  The truth is, Georgia has long experienced a workforce shortage, ranking behind most states in the ratio of patients to physicians, nurses, and physicians assistants.  The problem is three-pronged: we do not have enough health professionals choosing to practice primary care, we do not have an adequate collaborative care system, and our health professional students do not receive enough interdisciplinary education.

 

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Advocates in Atlanta Have a Vision for Better Care

By Jesse Connolly, Campaign Director for the Campaign for Better Care


Last week, I traveled to Atlanta for a roundtable discussion with patients, health care providers and consumer advocates, organized by our colleagues at the Georgia Campaign for Better Care (following the campaign supporing private schools in Atlanta).  Dr. Don Berwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), brought a national perspective and a distinguished health care background to the panel.  But another panelist, Yolanda Chancellor, brought something that was, in its way, even more powerful:  a handful of newspaper clippings.

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AARP 2011 State Legislative Wrap-Up

 

 

“My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to make this happen- I’ve always been an AARP fan, but you’ve taken my loyalty to a new level.”

Mignon Fleishel sent this message to AARP after Senate Bill 178 passed the Georgia Senate on March 14th. Mignon’s mother lives in an assisted living facility in Cobb County but had been told she had to move to a nursing home because she needs assistance getting in her wheelchair. SB 178 would create  licensure category for assisted living that would give Georgians the choice to age in place as long as their needs are being met. Passage of this legislation was a top priority for AARP; staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to get this legislation through all of the hurdles to passage. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation into law soon. Now, Mignon and the hundreds of Georgia caregivers facing this can be happy that their loved ones can age in place, controlling their destiny in their final years.

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Put the Health of Georgia First

By Dr. Harry J. Heiman


So what’s new?” the reporter asked. “Haven’t we heard this all before?” His inquiry was striking in its simplicity, yet it was a harsh wake-up call to reality.


His question came at the end of a recent press conference at the state Capitol where physicians, public health professionals and advocates from a spectrum of consumer health groups had just finished describing the compelling human and financial burden of tobacco-associated disease on our country and Georgia. That journalist, in spite of the plethora of facts and the credentials and credibility of the presenters, remained unmoved. (more…)


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One Year Later: Young Adults

By Amanda Ptashkin

Earlier this month, we heard the story of Cory K, a recent college grad trying to find a job and start a career in one of the most tumultuous economic times of recent years.  Having fallen off her parents’ plan after graduation and having been denied private insurance because of a pre-existing condition, Cory was concerned about finding coverage, especially while she was looking for a job.  That changed on September 23, 2010 when the dependent care provision of the Affordable Care Act took effect and Cory was allowed back on her mother’s insurance plan.  Around that time, Cory was lucky to find a job that offered insurance but she would have to wait 6 months for the coverage to take effect.  Because of the dependent care provision, Cory has been able to rejoin her mother’s insurance plan and protect herself from unknown risks and avoid a lapse in coverage. (more…)


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One Year Later: Women’s Health

By Amanda Ptashkin

While it is true that the Affordable Care Act will insure more people and stop some insidious insurance industry practices, it does so much more than that–it begins to equalize the playing field.  For women in particular, from fighting for the right to vote to fighting for pay equity, there has always been an inequity in how woman are treated and this holds true when dealing with health and health care. (more…)


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One Year Later: Patient’s Bill of Rights

By Amanda Ptashkin

In the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments.  They are series of limitations on the power of the United States federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association, and other rights.  It only seems natural that moving forward, patients have their own Bill of Rights that protect them from harmful practices that make access to care difficult. (more…)


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One Year Later: Seniors

As we continue to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we look to the changes that affect senior citizens and highlight how far we’ve come in just one year.  One of the first provisions to take effect under the new law was the beginning of the closing of the Medicare donut hole.   (more…)


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One Year Later: Small Businesses

When Julie Haley started her small business, Edge Solutions, in 2008, she had to make some tough decisions.  She wanted to attract high-caliber employees and wanted to be competitive within her field, IT.  Though it was a significant financial commitment, she believed that providing health insurance to her employees was crucial.


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Health Legislation in Committee This Week

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the health care committees in the Georgia General Assembly this week. As these are all subject to change, check the General Assembly’s website for the most up-to-date information.

 

 

Monday

9am Senate HHS Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Meeting

125 CAP

SB 76

SB 93

SB 178

 

10am House Insurance Admin/Licensing Subcommittee Meeting

415 CLOB

HB 476

HB 380

 

2pm Senate HHS Full Committee Meeting

450 CAP

SB 22

 

3:30pm House HHS Full Committee Meeting

606 CLOB

HB 324, Neal

HB 405

HB 434

 

Tuesday

8:30am, Senate HHS Subcommittee

125 CAP

 

2pm or upon adjournment, House Health Appropriations Subcommittee Meeting

341 CAP

FY 2012 Budget

 

3pm, Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

450 CAP

 

4pm, House Insurance Committee

406 CLOB

HB 298

HB 370

HB 371

HB 380

HB 413

HB 476

 

Wednesday

10am, Senate HHS

450 CAP

 

Thursday

1pm, Senate Insurance

MEZZ

 

 


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