“Supported employment’’ represents a valuable opportunity for someone with a disability.
It matches an individual with a job, and provides follow-up support and job coaching to help the worker thrive.
The Georgia Legislature, in its final days this year, is considering funding for supported employment services for young people with developmental disabilities.
In a new GHN Commentary, Kathy Keeley, executive director of All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) explains how having a job can help a person with a disability, and why the Legislature should appropriate money for this purpose.
“Without this program, these students would likely finish high school, only to return home and sit on the couch, waiting until they qualify for a Medicaid waiver to pay for support services,’’ she writes.
Here is a link to Keeley’s Commentary
Georgia Health News welcomes Commentary submissions. If you would like to propose a Commentary piece for Georgia Health News, please email Andy Miller, editor of GHN, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural health care may get a needed boost under a proposed regulation change that would allow a hospital to downsize its services, the commissioner of a Georgia health agency said Thursday.
Clyde Reese, commissioner of the Department of Community Health, said he would ask the board of the agency to promulgate rules for such a “step-down’’ facility. Reese, speaking at a meeting of the board, said Gov. Nathan Deal would make an announcement on rural health care next week.
Commissioner Clyde Reese
Reese did not expand on those remarks. But industry officials told GHN that the Community Health proposal likely would allow a rural hospital that has recently closed — or one that’s currently struggling to survive — to downsize to a facility that includes an emergency room, surgery and childbirth services.
Rural health care has turned into an important topic at the General Assembly this year, fueled by the closing of four financially struggling rural hospitals in the state over the past two years. A total of eight have shut since 2000.
Jimmy Lewis of HomeTown Health, an organization of rural hospitals in Georgia, said rural health care “has become a major issue,’’ with hospital closings and the potential shuttering of others.
The state may be able to change licensing rules and regulations to allow rural communities to create a facility from “a buffet of options they may choose from,’’ Lewis said.
“This is a very necessary, forward-thinking proposal for the future of rural health care,’’ he added. full story
The Georgia Senate continued practicing its sleight of hand with House bills Thursday, making one vanish, restoring a second to its original form and causing a third to reappear as the General Assembly entered the final three days of the 2014 session.
HB 913 passed the House in early March as an effort to prevent possible conflicts of interest among Department of Community Health Board members. With that stated goal, it targeted one board member in particular. But that language disappeared at a Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting Thursday morning.
The original HB 913, sponsored by Rep. Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), was replaced with wording from an unrelated Senate foster care bill, and was approved by the committee. SB 350 authorizes the privatization of much of the child welfare system, turning over foster care, adoption and case management services to private companies.
Committee Chairwoman Renee Unterman (R-Buford), sponsor of SB 350, was upset that a House panel chose to amend her bill, taking out what she said were some key provisions. full story
A Senate panel Wednesday unanimously approved a newly revised bill that would legalize marijuana derivatives in Georgia for treatment of patients with cancer, glaucoma and seizure disorders.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended HB 885, the original House version of the medical marijuana bill, to make it easier for Georgians to gain access to cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a non-psychoactive derivative of marijuana.
Anthony and Sarah Caruso and their daughter Britlyn
The major change would grant immunity from prosecution in Georgia for possession of CBD oil obtained legally in a state that permits the use of medical marijuana.
Twenty states have legalized medical use of marijuana, and recently two states, Colorado and Washington, have also legalized recreational use.
The original HB 885 was sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who championed the legislation to help children who suffer from serious seizure disorders. CBD has proved effective in reducing the number and duration of seizures, according to parents and physicians. full story
House Bill 990 started out the day as what its sponsor called a “straightforward, one-paragraph proposal’’ — requiring legislative approval of any expansion of the Georgia Medicaid program.
Sen. Renee Unterman
But after a committee hearing Wednesday, the bill has acquired a lot of added material: It now has the original Senate-passed foster care reform legislation attached to it.
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), with a committee substitute, added the foster care language to 990 in a surprise move that reflects the late-session tug-of-war between the state Senate and House over certain key legislation, including the gun-carry bill.
The General Assembly is due to adjourn for the year next Thursday.
Unterman said a House committee Tuesday had stripped “most of the good parts’’ from Senate Bill 350, which she sponsored. full story