House panel approves restrictions on PBMs, surprise medical billing
“Corporate greed.’’ “Steering patients.’’ “No transparency.’’ Those phrases were used by Georgia lawmakers Thursday to characterize the complicated practices of pharmacy benefit managers. PBMs basically are corporate middlemen between health insurers or large employers and drugmakers in handling pharmaceutical benefits. A trio of House bills aim to strengthen regulation and... Read more
State challenges in tackling COVID-19 include testing, funding
Georgia faces a couple of immediate challenges in its preparation for a potential coronavirus outbreak here. One is true for many states: The process for testing patients for the disease is, at best, very slow. The Georgia Public Health Lab recently received a diagnostic test kit from the CDC... Read more
State Senate OKs transparency bill on quality, costs of care
The Georgia Senate approved legislation Tuesday to increase transparency of health care prices for consumers. Senate Bill 303 would give insured Georgians the ability to query their insurer to learn their out-of-pocket costs before getting non-emergency services from a physician or hospital. Consumers could also get data on the... Read more
EPA doubling Atlanta area under investigation for lead contamination
By Andy Miller and Scott Trubey The federal Environmental Protection Agency is doubling the area it’s probing for lead contamination west of downtown Atlanta, and residents and volunteer researchers said they want more help from local governments to notify neighbors and urge lead testing of children. So far, the... Read more
Surprise billing legislation OK’d by Senate, but some see a loophole
For at least five years, proposals to curb surprise medical billing have hit roadblocks in the Georgia General Assembly. Health insurers and physicians have been sharply split over how to fix the problem, and lawmakers have tended to line up with one side or the other. The state Senate... Read more

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