Author

Andy Miller

Andy Miller

Andy Miller is editor of Georgia Health News and has been a health care journalist for the past 28 years. From 1992 to mid-2009, he covered health care for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He won numerous awards for his newspaper reporting on hospitals and health insurers, state government and Georgia’s mental hospitals.

Understaffed state psychiatric units leave patients in limbo

By: - October 27, 2021

Many patients dealing with mental health crises are having to wait several days in an ER until a bed becomes available at one of Georgia’s five state psychiatric hospitals, as public facilities nationwide feel the pinch of the pandemic. “We’re in crisis mode,’’ said Dr. John Sy, an emergency medicine physician in Savannah. “Two weeks […]

Georgia defends insurance waiver as company interest builds

By: - July 7, 2021

Georgia officials have pushed back against a federal health agency’s request for more financial information on the state’s insurance waiver plan. A letter dated July 2 says that Georgia’s approach to replace the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare.gov enrollment set-up with a privately run process has already been approved by the feds. The Georgia “Section 1332’’ waiver has […]

War against lead contamination widens in west Atlanta neighborhood

By: - May 18, 2021

In a well-kept west Atlanta yard Saturday, two women held up small pieces of a rock-like material they had spotted on the ground. It wasn’t rock, the two agreed: It was slag. Rosario Hernandez and Eri Saikawa know plenty about west Atlanta’s deposits of slag. The stuff is a byproduct of smelting, and many years ago people […]

Cameras in nursing homes: Bill advances after close vote

By: - March 24, 2021

A Senate health committee narrowly passed a bill this week that promotes the use of cameras in rooms of residents of long-term care facilities to prevent neglect or abuse. The split vote reflected the panel’s vigorous debate over the differences between cameras that are hidden, and those that would be visible and known to the […]

Hospitals, nursing homes first in line as COVID vaccine coming soon

By: - December 9, 2020

Georgia expects to receive several hundred thousand doses of COVID vaccines this month for its initial distribution, the state’s top public health official said Tuesday. The first groups to get shots will be health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities, said the commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, at a news conference at […]

The good news on Moderna’s vaccine trial resonates in Atlanta

By: - November 16, 2020

“Relief. Excitement. Hope. A fantastic day for all of us.’’ That’s how Dr. Colleen Kelley of Emory University School of Medicine described her reaction to preliminary results announced Monday by the biotech company Moderna about its COVID-19 candidate vaccine. The Massachusetts-based company said its clinical trial has shown the vaccine to be apparently 94.5 percent effective against the […]

Georgia mental health services a work in progress 10 years after settlement

By: - October 28, 2020

For a year of her life, Linda Ferguson lived in a booth at a transit stop. She spent another year living under a bridge. Her homelessness, she says now, “was a bad situation. Nobody likes to be outside. It’s a very insecure feeling.’’ At one point Ferguson, who deals with severe anxiety attacks, lost her […]

Georgia probate judges susceptible to COVID with 15 infected, three dead

By: - October 21, 2020

Being a probate judge in Georgia has turned into a vulnerability during the pandemic. Fifteen of these Georgia judges — about 1 in 10 – have been infected with COVID-19. And this week, Karen Batten, 62, probate judge of Brantley County, became the third to die of COVID-19. The state has 159 counties, with a […]

Politically connected firm earning millions in state COVID contract

By: - September 14, 2020

A health care staffing company with strong political connections has been paid more than $40 million by the state of Georgia to supply medical workers to fight COVID-19. Jackson Healthcare, a private company based in Alpharetta, was asked by state officials for help in March. That’s when Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the city of […]

Georgia slips even lower among states on new health scorecard

By: - September 14, 2020

Georgia slipped to No. 46 among the states in a new ranking of health system performance, down from 42nd the previous year. The new 2020 Commonwealth Fund report on states’ health system performance, released Friday, noted that Georgia performed well by certain measures. Those include a high rate of diabetic adults having an annual hemoglobin […]

COVID figures spike at UGA again as 1,400 students infected

By: - September 10, 2020

The University of Georgia saw a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases for the second week in a row. The college said Wednesday that 1,417 positive tests were reported through the University’s DawgCheck reporting system for the period of Aug. 31 – Sept. 4. That’s up from 821 from the week before, which was the first week of […]

Top nurses upset at sudden exit of popular Georgia board chief

By: - September 8, 2020

The departure of the state Board of Nursing’s executive director has stunned nurse leaders in Georgia, who told Georgia Health News that he did “a great job’’ in that position. Jim Cleghorn served in the role for 10 years. He was also president of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Deputy Secretary of […]