Peach Pulse: February 1, 2013


The 2013 Legislative Session: budget hearings held, hospital tax renewal moving through the House of Representatives

Last week, state agency heads presented Governor Deal’s proposed budgets for their respective agencies to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.

Access to care: the good news
Primary care providers will receive an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates to parity with Medicare rates, funded entirely with federal dollars made available to Georgia through the Affordable Care Act. This can help preserve and strengthen access to care for Medicaid patients seeking primary care and prevention services.

Access to care: the bad news
The Department of Community Health’s proposed budget would reduce provider reimbursement rates within Medicaid by .74 percent for providers other than hospitals, primary care, FQHC, RHC, and hospice providers. This proposed rate cut, if implemented, could jeopardize access to care for Medicaid patients who require services such as dental care, obstetrics and gynecology, and oncology, among other non-primary care services.

The Department of Community Health’s proposed budget can be found here. Please contact your legislators and ask them to preserve access to care by restoring these important funds in the state budget.

Hospital fee renewal moves through the Legislature
SB 24, which would authorize the Department of Community Health to levy a fee on hospitals to continue drawing down federal funds to support Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids, has passed the State Senate and will be before the House of Representatives for a vote today. The current hospital fee is set to expire on June 30, 2013. The renewal of the fee is essential to ensuring Medicaid and PeachCare’s solvency and preserving access to hospital care in Georgia.

Hot off the press: A Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide to the 2013 Georgia Legislative Session

Each year, Georgians for a Healthy Future releases A Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide to the Georgia Legislative Session to provide you with the information and tools you need to take action on the health care issues you care about. Our 2013 guide is now available and features an overview of the legislative process in Georgia; contact information for all state legislators; descriptions and listings for each legislative committee with jurisdiction over health care issues; contact information for state agencies and officials; contact information for health care organizations and associations active in Georgia; key media contacts; and tools and strategies for effective consumer health advocacy. You may download the guide here or request hard copies of the guide by e-mailing Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Outreach & Advocacy Director here.

Advocating for Coverage for Georgia’s Uninsured: Join us at the Capitol on 2/19/13

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Cover Georgia coalition at the State Capitol on Tuesday, February 19th from 9am to 1pm as we advocate for covering Georgia’s uninsured through an expansion of the Medicaid program.  For more details about the event and to RSVP, click here.  Help us Cover Georgia.

One in five Georgians is currently uninsured.  That translates to close to 2 million people in our state with no access to health insurance coverage.  Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option of accepting federal dollars to expand coverage to low income adults who make up to 138% of the federal poverty level, approximately $15,400 a year in 2012. This would allow about 600,000 Georgians to gain health coverage.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to drastically reduce the number of uninsured Georgians while also bringing in federal dollars to help our health care infrastructure and local economies.  Despite the tools and resources available to Georgia, our state’s leadership is rejecting the federal funds. Our state policymakers need to hear from health care consumers, patients, providers, and stakeholders about how important this issue is to them. We need your voice! Visit for more information on this issue.

Georgians for a Healthy Future welcomes new board members

Georgians for a Healthy Future is proud to welcome four new board members, all of whom joined the Board of Directors this month after being elected in December. These new board members are:


Allyson Burroughs, Vice President, Marketing, Xerox State Healthcare LLC





Iris Feinberg, Doctoral Candidate in Health Literacy, Georgia State University





Doug Skelton, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, Trinity School of Medicine




Marci Thomas Headshot

Marci Thomas, Principal and Director of Quality Control, Metcalf-Davis





We also recognize the service of Patricia Nobbie, Scott Mathews, and Robert Bush, all of whom left the Board of Directors at the end of 2012 after years of dedication to the mission of Georgians for a Healthy Future. Full bios for all Georgians for a Healthy Future board members can be found here.

Georgians for a Healthy Future Presents at National Health Advocacy Conference in Washington DC

On Thursday, January 31st, Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Outreach and Advocacy Director Amanda Ptashkin presented at the Families USA Health Action 2013 Conference–an annual gathering of state advocates, national advocacy organizations, and health care and policy professionals that takes place in Washington DC every January. Speaking on a panel entitled “Getting to Yes on the Medicaid Expansion,” Amanda shared her thoughts on our state’s approach to health reform implementation as well as the work of the Cover Georgia coalition, aimed at getting our state to accept the federal dollars to expand coverage for thousands of Georgians.  To view her presentation, click here.   The conference goes on until Saturday, February 2nd, and includes advocates from around the country sharing their health care obstacles and successes.  Follow the conversation on twitter, #ha2013, and learn about the great work taking place across the country.