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Feature Oct 10, 2017 0

About five years ago, the staff at a hospital intensive care unit in Augusta placed a tube into the windpipe of 91-year-old Bucilla Stephenson after she went into respiratory distress. Stephenson died several days later, and no one faulted... Read more

Sick Georgians swamped by medical bills seek help wherever they can find it

Feature Oct 3, 2017 0

Crowdfunding now a major force in health care, but the competition for sympathy can... Read more

A hospital crisis is killing rural communities. This state is ‘Ground Zero’

Feature Sep 22, 2017 9

Special Report: Inside three Georgia counties that have struggled to keep their vulnerable hospitals... Read more
An alarming trend: Premature births go up in Georgia

Georgia’s preterm birth rate rose in 2016 after years of decrease, a disturbing trend that is mirrored by national data, state officials said Monday.

Preterm birth is when a baby is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy have been completed. It’s also called premature birth.

Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems and cerebral palsy.

Georgia’s preterm birth rate climbed to 11.2 percent last year, up from 10.8 percent in 2015, said Dr. Lara Jacobson, director of Health Promotion at the state Department of Public Health. That’s higher than the national preterm ...

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Trump’s latest move shakes ACA, but effect was foreseen in Georgia

On one level, the White House’s pledge late Thursday to stop cost-sharing payments to health insurers under the Affordable Care Act won’t make a major difference in Georgia.

That’s because three of the four health insurers offering coverage on the state exchange have already factored in the likely elimination of the payments in their huge 2018 premium increases.

The ACA created the exchanges to help people without job-based or government insurance to buy affordable coverage. The cost-sharing subsidies that will be eliminated have been going to insurers, which use them to lower the out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copays, for lower-income exchange customers.

The ...

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Trump approves looser rules on ‘association health plans’

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that would potentially ease rules on “association health plans’’ and on the sale of short-term, low-cost insurance policies.

Because federal agencies must develop the regulations and guidance for these changes, no significant changes will occur for months.

Trump said Thursday that “with these actions we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market, and taking crucial steps toward saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare,” more formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

Critics have warned, though, that such actions could attract the healthiest customers to the newly structured plans through lower premiums ...

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Anthem to develop mega-center of health IT in Atlanta

The parent company of Georgia’s largest health insurer has agreed to develop a 352,000 square-foot building in Midtown Atlanta as a health IT hub.

Anthem Inc. announced Thursday that it had signed a lease to develop the 21-story building with Portman Holdings. Construction is to begin in January 2018, with completion expected in two years.

Indianapolis-based Anthem is the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.

“This new investment is a critical part of the Tech Square expansion and delivers on the commitment we announced last year to grow our IT footprint in Atlanta and the state,” Jeff Fusile, president of Blue Cross of Georgia, said ...

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An alarming trend: Premature births go up in Georgia
Georgia’s preterm birth rate rose in 2016 after years of decrease, a disturbing trend...
Trump’s latest move shakes ACA, but effect was foreseen in Georgia
On one level, the White House’s pledge late Thursday to stop cost-sharing payments to health insurers...
Trump approves looser rules on ‘association health plans’
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that would potentially ease rules on “association health plans’’...
Anthem to develop mega-center of health IT in Atlanta
The parent company of Georgia’s largest health insurer has agreed to develop a 352,000...
West Nile cases finally drop in Georgia, but virus still a danger
The number of West Nile virus cases, which has been alarmingly high, is finally declining in Georgia....
Floating away your anxiety and stress
Neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein is investigating float therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for people with conditions like anxiety and depression.
It’s our goal to make fresh, healthy food an everyday affair
 Though summer is over, the “season” for local, farm-fresh food is still in full swing. And while affluent foodies...
Governor’s action on PAs is a setback for Georgia patients
Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of legislation to allow PAs (physician assistants) to treat pain more effectively (Senate Bill 125)...
Medicaid expansion would be good for poor . . . and Georgia
In the health care debates of recent months, we have seen people with disabilities, families of children with chronic...

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