In Tuesday’s edition of Georgia Health News, (“Commentary: Replace Georgia tort system”), Dr. Henry Goodwin writes about a proposal currently before the Georgia General Assembly that would take away Georgia citizens’ constitutional right to trial by jury when they have been harmed through the negligence of their health care provider. This proposal, he insists, will reduce health care costs and increase access to justice for all Georgians. However, if you think that this sounds too good to be true, then you would be correct.
This proposal, known as the “Patient Injury Act,” would strip Georgia’s medical malpractice victims of the constitutional right to seek justice in the courtroom before a jury of fellow citizens, and replace our time-tested civil justice system with a burdensome, taxpayer-funded government bureaucracy. full story
The number of Georgians signing up for a health plan through the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange increased to 6,859 by the end of last month, up from 1,390 as of Nov. 2, federal officials announced Wednesday.
The rise in enrollees reflects, in part, a better-functioning federal website, which has been plagued with problems since ACA enrollment began Oct. 1.
Overall, 364,682 Americans have selected plans from the state and federal exchanges by the end of November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced.
November enrollment in the federally run exchanges — used in Georgia and 35 other states — was more than four times greater than October’s reported enrollment number, HHS said.
But the numbers fall well short of the White House’s past projections of enrollment during this period.
The Georgia health insurance industry and local navigators helping to enrolling people in health plans agree that the healthcare.gov website is working better.
“There are some positive steps in the customer experience,’’ Graham Thompson of the Georgia Association of Health Plans told GHN on Wednesday. full story
A new tort reform effort has gained considerable attention in the days leading up to the 2014 Georgia General Assembly session.
Senate Bill 141 would set up a system something like workers’ comp, with injured patients getting access to an independent medical review panel that would rule on the merits of their claims.
In a new GHN Commentary, Dr. Henry N. Goodwin Jr., an Augusta urologist, pushes for this revamp. It’s not a wholly untested idea, he says.
“Since the [proposal] eliminates the need for medical malpractice lawsuits, more of the awards would go to injured patients rather than the lawyers who file and defend medical malpractice claims,’’ Goodwin writes.
Here is a link to his 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 email@example.com
Dakota Dyer was a good student, a starting defensive end on his Bremen, Ga., football team, and had no history of mental illness or drug abuse, his father says.
But in March 2012, Dakota, 14, was repeatedly asked on Facebook to try a “new legal weed,’’ says his father, Lance Dyer.
Dakota finally tried the synthetic marijuana, which medical experts say can lead to paranoia or hallucinations. He then committed suicide.
That tragedy turned Lance Dyer into an activist. On Monday evening, he took his passionate fight against synthetic drugs to a community drug forum, sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re at war,’’ Dyer told the audience. “These are poisons.’’
These synthetic drugs have surfaced in Georgia over the past five years, law enforcement officials say.
“This issue attacks everyone,’’ said state Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth). full story
The state is delaying its move to put 27,000 kids in child welfare programs into a managed care plan.
The Georgia Department of Community Health told GHN on Friday that the managed care program requires more time to launch. It will begin March 3, instead of the originally planned Jan. 1, an agency spokeswoman said in an email.
The move of foster care children and those in adoption assistance and in the juvenile justice system will result in improved coordination of care, state officials say. The new program is also expected to save Medicaid millions of dollars by emphasizing prevention and keeping the children healthier.
The Community Health spokeswoman, Lisa Marie Shekell, said in an email that the agency “remains committed to this transition because of the improvements in care and health outcomes that the children and youth impacted by transitioning into a managed care environment will experience.” full story