Life with a spinal injury: What it’s like, and how it’s changing Hot

Feature Aug 25, 2016 0

Just a few seconds . . . That’s all it took for Nancy Edwards to go from working nurse to spinal cord injury patient. It happened on an otherwise routine day in 2002. Edwards was on her way to work... Read more

With seasonal allergies on the increase, Georgia experts seek solutions

Feature Aug 18, 2016 1

To many people, spring and fall are the prettiest and most pleasant times of... Read more

Saddleback therapy: Horses help with healing on Ga. farm

Feature Aug 11, 2016 1

To those driving out of Watkinsville along State Route 53, farms and horses are... Read more
Task force unveils options to cover uninsured in Georgia

A widely anticipated plan to reduce the number of Georgians without health coverage, unveiled Wednesday, takes a unique, conservative approach to Medicaid expansion.

The plan, created by a health care task force, contains three proposals with differing eligibility standards and designs. The group’s leaders said Wednesday that they hope the options will serve as a kick start for discussion this fall and into next year’s General Assembly session.

Included in the blueprint is an array of features that may please many Republican legislators, who are clearly the target of the task force effort.

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has been adopted by 31 states, the latest being Louisiana. Most of these follow a standard approach to expansion as specified under the ACA. Variant approaches require specific federal approval.

So far, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and leaders in the GOP-dominated General Assembly have ...

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Emory partnership with Stratus boosts clout of hospital alliance

Emory Healthcare announced Monday that it has formed a partnership with Stratus Healthcare, an alliance of 21 hospitals and 1,500 physicians in Georgia.

Stratus, created in 2013, is a loose alliance of Georgia health systems, with members cooperating on their common goals but not sharing equity interests. Stratus officials say it’s the largest alliance of health care providers in the Southeast.

For Emory, based in Atlanta, the move is part of a strategy of expanding the academic health center’s footprint in the state.

But unlike such growing health systems as Piedmont and WellStar, Emory  is not seeking to take over other hospitals, said Dr. Jonathan Lewin, Emory University’s executive vice president of health affairs and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

“We’re looking at building relationships with hospitals,’’ he told GHN on Monday.

Emory’s recent moves include starting a cancer network through its Winship Cancer Institute, to ...

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Piedmont, United settle dispute, OK new contract

Almost two months after their contract expired, Piedmont Healthcare and UnitedHealthcare reached agreement early Saturday morning on a new deal.

Under the new three-year contract, tens of thousands of Georgians who are United members will regain access to Piedmont’s array of hospitals and physicians without facing out-of-network charges.

The agreement comes at a critical time — before open enrollment at many workplaces for 2017 coverage, and just as employers are looking to choose health plans to offer their workers.

Especially for people living in Atlanta’s southern suburbs, Piedmont’s absence would have put a big hole in United’s network. Piedmont’s hospitals in Stockbridge, Newnan and Fayetteville have a dominant position south of Atlanta’s airport.

The renewed agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2016, ensuring that United members who received Piedmont services since the old contract expired will not have to pay extra for being out of ...

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Rise in Medicaid rolls has continuing impact on state budget

Continued growth in Georgia’s Medicaid enrollment accounts for much of the state budget increases that the Department of Community Health is seeking both for fiscal 2017 and 2018.

In addition, the agency said Thursday that it’s starting a payment system next July that will penalize health insurers for not meeting medical quality standards.

Medicaid enrollment is projected to increase by 2 percent both this fiscal year and next, Elizabeth Brady, chief financial officer for Community Health, told the agency board Thursday. (Fiscal year 2017 began July 1.)

Brady attributed the enrollment increase largely to changes created by the Affordable Care Act. They include switching eligibility reviews from every six months to annually; and the so-called “woodwork effect,” as the ACA’s insurance exchange sign-up campaign uncovered more people eligible for Medicaid.

The Medicaid enrollment increase has produced a request for an additional $82.8 million this fiscal year, and another ...

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Task force unveils options to cover uninsured in Georgia
A widely anticipated plan to reduce the number of Georgians without health coverage, unveiled...
Emory partnership with Stratus boosts clout of hospital alliance
Emory Healthcare announced Monday that it has formed a partnership with Stratus Healthcare, an...
Piedmont, United settle dispute, OK new contract
Almost two months after their contract expired, Piedmont Healthcare and UnitedHealthcare reached agreement early Saturday...
Rise in Medicaid rolls has continuing impact on state budget
Continued growth in Georgia’s Medicaid enrollment accounts for much of the state budget increases...
Donation program for rural hospitals opens door for consulting firms
State health officials say 48 rural hospitals are eligible to receive donations from individuals...
Depression treatment often doesn’t go to those in need
Most Americans who screen positive for depression don’t receive treatment, a study finds, while most who did receive treatment...
Why I’m at odds with my party on health care
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” (James Baldwin)...
Georgia needs to put its foot down on ‘step therapy’ for diabetics
More than 1 million people in Georgia live with diabetes and are at risk for developing chronic, debilitating and...
Invest in our state by closing the coverage gap
My expertise lies in public health, not in finance or investments. However, it is my understanding that in order...

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