House panel weighs legislation to ease access to vital medications
Brannen Whirledge was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, two years ago at age 4. His family tried for months to find an effective medicine for him that didn’t produce unpleasant side effects, such as nausea and fatigue. Finally, they found what his mother, Melissa, calls “a... Read more
Blurred state lines: Macon hospital system lines up N.C. partner
Another seismic shift rocked Georgia hospital world Thursday, with a Macon system entering partnership talks with a huge Charlotte-based organization. Atrium Health – which just changed its name from Carolinas HealthCare  – and Navicent Health have signed a letter of intent to enter into “a strategic combination.’’ If a... Read more
Georgia Senate approves bills on opioid epidemic, health council
A key state senator said Wednesday that she expects Georgia’s fight against the opioid epidemic to draw funding from the Legislature through the budget process. Sen. Renee Unterman, a Buford Republican, made the remarks after the Senate unanimously approved a bill that would establish a Georgia director of substance abuse, addiction... Read more
Hospitals keep up swift pace of mergers, alliances
The new year is bringing a rash of big hospital deals in Georgia, as health systems look to bulk up in size and add to their medical territory. The first transaction came a week ago, with the completion of Tennessee-based HCA’s acquisition of Memorial Health in Savannah. Still pending... Read more
Transparency legislation is latest effort to end surprise billing
Surprise medical bills have long puzzled – and angered – patients in Georgia and elsewhere. This billing occurs when consumers have procedures or visit ERs at hospitals in their insurance network, then get separate bills for hundreds or even thousands of dollars from non-network doctors who were involved. These bills can... Read more

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