My recent sinus infection came on suddenly and painfully. After diagnosing it, my physician e-prescribed me an antibiotic.
This is tricky territory for me. I’m sensitive to some antibiotics. Years ago, I took a couple of varieties to treat similar infections, and wound up with oral thrush in one case and C. difficile in another. Both were 100 times worse than the original ailment.
My physician knew this history. He prescribed a two-week supply of doxycyline hyclate, a dependable antibiotic that he felt I could tolerate well, partly because I had handled it well in the past.
So I headed to my pharmacy to pick up the “doxy.”
“It’s one seventeen,’’ said the clerk, in an oddly sheepish way.
I pulled a dollar from my wallet and extracted some change from my pants pocket.
She looked at the money and said, “No. It’s a hundred and seventeen dollars.’’
“Whoa,’’ I said. “$117?” full story
The state insurance department is looking at possible ways to strengthen a Georgia law that requires health insurers’ networks to give consumers adequate access to doctors and hospitals.
“Georgia is not alone: The feds and all the states are looking at the issue,’’ Trey Sivley, director of the Division of Insurance and Financial Oversight for the Georgia agency, told GHN recently.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is working on a redraft of its model for a network adequacy law. Georgia is studying the NAIC proposals, Sivley said. But he added that the state’s interest in the details “doesn’t mean that we’re going to adopt” the national group’s plan.
Such regulatory changes, if enacted, would coincide with an accelerating trend of health insurers offering consumers more limited choices of medical providers. The resulting health plans have become known generally as “narrow networks.” full story
Consumers in Georgia and three other states who were helped by navigators for the 2014 insurance exchanges tended to be people of color who were not financially secure, a recently released report says.
Navigators, who are specially trained in the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, provide face-to-face, in-person help for consumers seeking information about health insurance policies in the state exchanges, also called marketplaces.
The report by the University of Georgia also said many consumers helped by Seedco navigators in the four states had limited knowledge about health insurance concepts.
A consumer meets with Atlanta-based Seedco navigator Amanda Ptashkin in March.
Seedco, a nonprofit group, was the lead organization in Georgia supplying navigators during the last Open Enrollment period for the ACA insurance exchanges. It also provided these counselors in Tennessee, New York and Maryland, and will do so again in the new enrollment period, which starts next month.
A UGA unit was the second Georgia navigator grantee group last year, but it is barred from participating this time by a newly passed state law. Top Georgia officials have been strongly critical of the ACA and have worked to limit official state involvement in its programs.
The UGA report found that among consumers in the four states helped by Seedco navigators, almost two-thirds (64.5%) were people of color. African-Americans were especially prevalent among these Georgia consumers. About 10 percent of consumers preferred to speak a language other than English. full story
The head of Georgia’s public health agency will chair Gov. Nathan Deal’s 13-member Ebola response team. Her appointment and those of the other members were announced Monday.
Joining Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, a physician and commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, are two health leaders from Emory Healthcare.
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, was the first American facility to receive an Ebola patient and has treated four. Three have already recovered and been released. (The third was released Sunday after being determined to be free of the virus, Emory announced Monday.) The fourth patient, a recently infected Texas nurse, arrived at Emory just last week.
The Emory officials on the team are Dr. William Bornstein, chief quality and medical officer at Emory Healthcare, and Susan Grant, chief nurse executive at Emory.
The Deal response team will assess current health and emergency management procedures and formulate recommendations to minimize the potential impact of Ebola in Georgia. full story
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Sunday that he is creating a special team to assess Georgia’s preparedness for the Ebola crisis.
The response team will make necessary recommendations to minimize any potential impact of the disease in Georgia.
“Rest assured, Georgia is taking the threat of the Ebola virus seriously,” Deal said in a statement. “By combining the expertise of the health and research communities with our state agencies, Georgia will be uniquely positioned to combat the risks of Ebola should the need arise.”
An electron micrograph of an Ebola virus “virion”
Members of the group will include representatives of Emory University Hospital, which has treated four people with Ebola, including a Dallas nurse recently infected who arrived at the facility last week.
A GHN article last week reported that the state’s public health agency has boosted its outreach efforts to Georgia health workers and hospitals on dealing with the potential of Ebola infection here. full story