The Georgia General Assembly is again wrestling with certificate-of-need (CON) legislation. Bills in past years have called for incremental changes in CON, the system that regulates the state’s health care industry, but the latest proposals aim for a major overhaul.
As in past years, hospital groups are generally fighting the proposed changes.
In a new GHN Commentary, Dr. Hal Scherz argues that the current CON laws hurt patients.
“The best way to drive down health care costs is with competition,” says Scherz, founder of Docs 4 Patient Care. CON laws tend to preserve the status quo, block competition and limit patients’ options, he ...
House Bill 198 will damage the state’s health care system.
House Bill 198 will improve access to quality medical services.
Those diametrically opposed views resounded during a passionate, occasionally testy three-hour legislative hearing Thursday on the high-profile bill, which would revamp the state’s health care regulatory system.
The newly formed House committee on health care access heard from a stream of opponents and supporters of the overhaul of the current certificate of need (CON) apparatus.
CON governs the construction and expansion of health care facilities and services. A provider currently must obtain a “certificate of need” to proceed with such a project.
House Bill 198 and ...
When Brannen Whirledge was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 4, he was put on medications that failed to help him. He suffered continual vomiting and severe stomach cramps.
Then they found a medication that worked. Brannen’s symptoms went away.
But after six months, says his mother, Melissa Whirledge, the family’s insurer told them that it would no longer cover the effective medication until “he failed on other drugs that he had already failed on.’’
The family appealed that ruling, and Brannen, now 7, has received exceptions to the drug restrictions. He is doing well, ...
This could be the General Assembly session that rocks Georgia health care.
Between the regulatory reform measures already introduced, and the coming bill on federal “waivers,’’ lawmakers have a chance to reconfigure the medical landscape in the state.
The waiver proposal from Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to be twofold. One proposal, if approved by the feds, would likely extend coverage to more uninsured Georgians through Medicaid. The other would shore up the health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Extension of insurance coverage to more people is a long-desired goal of medical provider groups and patient advocates.
Meanwhile, the proposed major reform ...