Health

Challenges loom after federal approval of Kemp health plan

BY: - October 16, 2020

Gov. Brian Kemp held a signing ceremony at the Georgia Capitol Thursday to mark the federal approval of a plan he says will help put insurance cards in the hands of residents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to qualify for subsidies on the federal exchange. The $218 million-per year […]

Seasonal flu vaccines more urgent as COVID combo threatens ‘twindemics’

BY: - October 8, 2020

Most years, Michelle Houser of Columbia County has her three children vaccinated for the flu at the end of October or early November, but this year she made a point to get them their annual shots as soon as she could. “I wouldn’t even let them go to church until they were vaccinated,” she said. […]

Big fight over drug pricing heads to the Supreme Court

BY: - October 5, 2020

A years-long fight over whether states have the authority to regulate important aspects of drug pricing is set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday morning. At issue is whether prescription middlemen, known as “pharmacy benefit managers,” will have to bow to state authority over a huge swath of their business or if […]

Georgia Supreme Court allows couple to pursue case of sperm donor ‘fraud’

BY: - September 28, 2020

A Georgia couple can continue its lawsuit against the Atlanta-based sperm bank that helped them conceive a son, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday, allowing them to pursue claims the donor lied about his mental and criminal history. The high court partially reversed a ruling by a Fulton County Superior Court judge and the Georgia […]

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 […]

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 […]

Community Health looks ahead to big financial hole to fill next year

BY: - August 27, 2020

Georgia’s main health care agency recently avoided major budget cuts that hit other departments, largely because the federal government increased its share of matching funds for state Medicaid programs. The extra money was aimed at helping states weather the financial devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic. But when that federal bump ends – which is projected […]

COVID-19 vaccine study moves into final phase with 30,000 volunteers

BY: - July 28, 2020

The first vaccine against COVID-19 tested in the United States is moving into its final phase with promising results and 30,000 volunteers who are not infected with the disease. Dr. Nadine Rouphael of Emory University’s Hope Clinic and one of the authors on the study said the third and final phase will determine whether mRNA-1273 […]

Rural SW Ga. hospital plans October closure; COVID was the last straw

BY: - July 27, 2020

The financial blow from COVID-19 has helped force the closure of a rural hospital in Georgia. Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center was facing financial challenges even before the pandemic struck, and Randolph County, where it is located, has among the highest per-capita infection rates in the state. “It has become increasingly difficult for small, critical-access hospitals […]

Proposal to ditch healthcare.gov continues to draw critics

BY: - July 22, 2020

A revised version of the governor’s plan to remake the private insurance market in Georgia continues to draw opposition because of a proposal to bypass healthcare.gov. Marla Loyal, an Atlanta resident who said she purchased insurance through the federal marketplace this year without assistance, said she finds Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposal confusing. “I’m a college […]

Medicaid, PeachCare keep gaining enrollment as pandemic continues

BY: - July 21, 2020

Georgia’s Medicaid and PeachCare rolls continue to grow amid the economic devastation from COVID-19. Newly released June enrollment figures show that Medicaid membership grew by 23,000, while PeachCare, the children’s health insurance program in Georgia, saw enrollment rise by nearly 14,000. That continues a steady increase in each program, though April’s Medicaid growth was much […]

Feds offer rural hospitals ‘Band-Aid’ as coronavirus adds to financial ills

BY: - July 20, 2020

Miller County Hospital in rural southwest Georgia, like other hospitals, stopped offering MRIs, surgeries and other outpatient procedures when the COVID-19 outbreak first reached the state. Robin Rau, who is the hospital’s CEO, said she had to limit who entered her doors. She runs a hospital known for its ventilator program that treats patients with […]