State seeks new enrollment for patients caught in contract rift
Federal health officials are reviewing a Georgia request for a new enrollment period for insurance exchange members who use WellStar Health System doctors and hospitals. Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck, in his request to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, cited what he called “misleading, inaccurate and... Read more
Senate panel OKs behavioral health commission
A Senate committee voted Wednesday in favor of a bill to create a state commission to analyze Georgia’s behavioral health services and recommend improvements. The commission would be authorized to take ‘’a very deep dive’’ into the state’s mental health system, said Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), lead sponsor of... Read more
Stalemate or solution? Legislative fight over surprise billing renewed
The thorny problem of surprise medical billing has once again sparked competing remedies within the General Assembly. Past attempts at a solution have ended in failure and frustration. Whether this year’s bills will actually lead to a resolution is anyone’s guess. Surprise bills occur when consumers have procedures or visit... Read more
House panel backs curbs on ‘step therapy’ rules for medications
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,... Read more
A real deal: Northside-Gwinnett merger finally gets federal approval
The wait is over. After years of delay while seeking regulatory approval, Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System said Tuesday that they have obtained federal approval to merge their operations. The merger, expected to be finalized this summer, will create a system with five hospitals, more than 250 outpatient... Read more

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