Peach Pulse: October 6, 2011

What’s New in Georgia

Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee Issues Interim Report
The Governor’s Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee, charged with determining whether Georgia should establish a state-based health insurance exchange, issuedan interim report on September 15th, available here.  Georgians for a Healthy Future’s executive director is a member of the committee and is currently participating on the governance and insurance markets subcommittees. GHF has also released an issue brief about the potential benefits of a well-designed exchange for health care consumers in Georgia, and we welcome your input to help us best represent the consumer voice on the committee. The next full meeting of the committee will be held on October 27th from 10am-2pm at the Department of Community Health (2 Peachtree St, 5th floor). All meetings are open to the public. Final committee recommendations are due to the Governor on December 15th per the Executive Order issued earlier this year.

New Department of Public Health Holds Initial Board Meeting
The newly-appointed nine-member Board of Public Health convened for the first time on September 26th. Over a period of nearly three hours, the members of the Board were provided a wide-ranging overview of the new Department of Public Health’s operations, including plans for trimming the FY2011 and FY2012 budgets. The new Department Of Public Health was established as a stand-alone state department on July 1, 2011, under legislation passed by the 2011 General Assembly.  To view the slides from the meeting, click here.

Children Eligible for State Health Benefits Plan Can Now Opt for PeachCare
Starting in October, parents of children eligible for the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) can now opt to enroll their kids in PeachCare for Kids™ during open enrollment—a move that is expected to save money for parents as well as the state.  The new option is expected to bring 40,000 Georgia children into the state’s PeachCare program.  Currently, 200,000 kids are covered under PeachCare.  To read a recent Georgia Health News article on the transition, click here.

Navigant Begins Stakeholder Focus Groups
As part of the environmental scan that consulting firm Navigant is tasked with undertaking as part of their Medicaid Redesign contract, in a few weeks they will begin convening stakeholder focus groups across the state.  To be invited to one of these sessions, interested stakeholders must have registered on the DCH website back in September.  For those not selected to attend the focus groups, Navigant has launched an online survey for consumers, patients, providers and vendors to weigh in on the process.  Click here to access the survey.

Events and Forums

Medicine and Society Lecture Series Event This Friday
On Friday, October 7th, GHF executive director Cindy Zeldin will be presenting “The Affordable Care Act: Implications for Georgia” to attendees of the Medicine and Society Lecture Series at Grady Hospital.  Presented in collaboration with Emory’s Department of Medicine, the Urban Health Initiative, and Social Medicine Work Group, this event will inform future health professionals about the intricacies of the ACA, how it will unfold through the implementation process, and what it means for medical professionals.  For more information, contact Jada Bussey-Jones.

Interdisciplinary Care in Action: Meeting Tomorrow’s Health Care Needs
On Thursday, October 13th, HealthSTAT is coordinating an interdisciplinary professional panel to discuss how today’s students can prepare themselves to be tomorrow’s interdisciplinary leaders.  Outreach and advocacy Director Amanda Ptashkin will be on the panel to discuss the important role of health professionals in helping to shape the future of our health care system.  To learn more about the event, click here.

State of Public Health Workforce
On Tuesday, October 25th, Foothills Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is hosting a webinar, the “State of the Public Health Workforce in the State of Georgia.” This program will provide an overview of the challenges and strategies to increase the public health workforce and activities that support the professional development of the public health workforce in the State of Georgia.  For more information about the webinar, click here.  To register, click here.