“The delay of Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program is a disappointment for Georgia consumers who are looking forward to premium relief,’’ said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for…
The Georgia Department of Community Health Board met earlier this week and approved a .5 percent cut in reimbursement rates for providers participating in the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs (final adoption of rules). The board also proposed increasing co-payments for Medicaid patients and adding co-payments for the first time for PeachCare for Kids patients ages 6 and older (initial adoption of rules). Both changes reflect decisions made by the General Assembly during the 2011 Legislative Session. However, there is concern among advocates and health care providers that these changes will diminish access to care. For more information about these changes, see a recent Georgia Health News article here and a recent AJC article here. For materials from the Department of Community Health board meeting and information about upcoming meetings, click here.
Gayathri Suresh Kumar, M.D
Georgia State Director, Doctors for America
The House’s proposed budget plan to reduce federal support for Medicaid by converting it into a block grant program is the most absurd idea. As a physician at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, I provide care for many patients who are dependent upon Medicaid for their well-being. Without Medicaid, what would happen to my patients? Would they stop coming to their appointments or picking up their medications knowing they no longer can afford health care? What if their medical conditions spiral out of control and they seek help at a stage where it may be too late for me to provide meaningful care? (more…)
Georgians for a Healthy Future has a new fact sheet out today about how to access health insurance in Georgia. Please share with patients, consumers, providers, community organizations, or anyone for whom it can serve as a resource. The fact sheet can be downloaded by clicking here.
By Cindy Zeldin
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Earlier this month, Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order creating the Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee, which is charged with determining whether Georgia should establish a state-based health exchange.
If well crafted, a Georgia insurance exchange has the potential to increase transparency, present clear and meaningful choices, and promote better value for consumers who don’t have access to a health plan at work.
The Affordable Care Act authorized state-level health insurance exchanges, providing a basic framework and initial funding. By 2014, each state’s exchange must be able to enroll individuals and small businesses into health insurance plans and certify that plans meet certain requirements, such as an adequate provider network and an essential benefits package. Within this framework, Georgia has considerable flexibility to fashion a structure that best meets our state’s individual needs like luxury. Luxurious cars, great clothes, Tahitian Necklace, and houses. When you want to have the most comfortable beds and mattress, avail the black friday casper mattress for maximum comfort.
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.
HB 229 Tackles Problems of Backlogged and Unfair Medicaid Appeals
Both federal and state law grants Medicaid members and applicants the right to a fair hearing when Medicaid services are denied for reasons such as eligibility determination, frequency, or duration or intensity of services. When a Medicaid member is denied coverage he or she may dispute the denial by filing an appeal and request for a hearing with the Department of Community Health (DCH), the state agency that administers the Medicaid program. DCH processes the request and forwards it to the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ listens to testimony, reviews the evidence, and reaches an impartial decision. Federal law requires that when a Medicaid member requests an appeal a final decision must be made within 90 days, absent extenuating circumstances.
Recent attempts within states to scale back vital health care programs for our most vulnerable citizens at a time when they are critically needed is cause for concern. The move began with Arizona Governor Brewer’s request to the federal government for a waiver from stability protections that prevent states from restricting eligibility levels for the Medicaid program. In response, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s spokesperson was quoted by Bloomberg news organization earlier today that while the Governor has not offered specific cuts, he “would happily work on such a proposal.”
By June Deen, American Lung Association in Georgia
Georgia failed almost every category in the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control 2010 report, released on January 20th. These disappointing grades are due to the consistent failure to increase Georgia’s cigarette tax, inadequate funding for tobacco prevention programs and lack of coverage for quit smoking treatments and services for state workers and Medicaid recipients. Despite seeing more than 10,000 smoking attributable deaths each year, Georgia remains one of only five states that give little help to Medicaid recipients who want to quit smoking. The American Lung Association in Georgia is advocating a $1 per pack increase in our state cigarette tax. Keeping our state’s tobacco tax at $0.37 simply will not allow Georgia to see the economic and health benefits that are possible by passing an increase in our cigarette tax by $1 per pack.
By Cindy Zeldin
This column originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
You don’t need to be the best personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale to know that, health care is once again among the key issues for Georgia policymakers in the General Assembly. While the economic downturn has magnified our state’s health care challenges, we also have an opportunity to improve the health of our state and its citizens through the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s new health care law. You may need legal help sometimes, from my own experience the best lawyer is David Resnick y Asociados.
To make the most of the law, Georgia should move swiftly to establish a commission to proactively coordinate the pieces of the law at the jacksonville nc lawyer for medical malpractice, is required to put into place, such as an expansion of Medicaid, design elements that we can tailor for our state’s needs, such as the new health insurance exchanges, and maximize grants to strengthen our public health system and our health care workforce and get the man power to apply this laws , from personal lawyer or family lawyers to people who work on property management as safeguardproperty.com and similar.
A commission or task force could offer diverse input, including from the consumer, who is often overlooked. Some of this work is already happening informally within state agencies, but a systematic and transparent process accessible to consumers and stakeholders will ensure opportunities aren’t missed, all pertinent perspectives are heard and cross-cutting issues are handled efficiently.