Georgia sues over fed’s nursing home vaccine mandate; staff shortage persists

BY: - November 17, 2021

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr continued Georgia’s feud over federal vaccine mandates that now extend to workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the state’s two ranking Republican officials challenges the legality of the Biden administration’s requirement that the majority of health care workers […]

State lawmakers reach across aisle, say 2022 is ‘the year of mental health’

BY: - November 11, 2021

Bipartisan momentum for action on mental health in the wake of the pandemic appears to be building ahead of next year’s legislative session. A group of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both chambers gathered this week at the state Capitol for a press conference, with several declaring 2022 to be “the year […]

Federal Medicaid workaround called short-term substitute for Georgia expansion

BY: - November 4, 2021

A Medicaid workaround proposal has made it into the Biden administration’s $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill, potentially providing health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Georgians. But health care advocates and analysts say the plan, which targets the dozen GOP-led states that have rejected Medicaid expansion, is a temporary substitute for […]

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 […]

About 1 million Georgia children five to 11 to become eligible for COVID vaccine soon

BY: - October 19, 2021

Naomi Williams of Evans said the beginning of the pandemic was especially tough on her family, including her 12-year-old son. He has been diagnosed with a long list of conditions, including epilepsy and chronic lung disease, which makes him more susceptible to COVID-19. “Living with a disability makes your life different anyway, because we live […]

Majority of Georgians fear inability to pay for COVID treatment if infected, survey finds

BY: - October 14, 2021

About two-thirds of Georgians who participated in a new survey said they had trouble paying for health care in the last year and that affordability concerns factored into their health care decisions. A consumer health survey from Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub and Georgians for a Healthy Future found people who said the cost of care […]

Georgia public health officials roll out COVID boosters, warn of virus resurgence

BY: - September 30, 2021

The governor and the state’s top public health official Thursday warned Georgians not to become complacent after a couple of weeks of declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as another surge may be on the way. Infection rates are on the decline in Georgia after numbers surged with the delta variant. And the fight to limit […]

Georgia’s disability support staffing shortage now at ‘epic proportions’

BY: - September 29, 2021

As a nurse working at a metro Atlanta hospital, Becky Turner is part of a workforce experiencing well-known staffing shortages as the pandemic persists. But as the sister of a 58-year-old woman with Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease who uses a wheelchair, the Lawrenceville resident and her family are also at the mercy of another […]

Georgia congressional Dems keep drumbeat for Medicaid expansion in holdout GOP states

BY: - September 23, 2021

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and other congressional Democrats are vowing to keep pushing for some form of Medicaid expansion for low-income residents living in hold-out states like Georgia to be included in the reconciliation package. Warnock, who is up for reelection next year, centered his 2020 campaign for the Senate on expanding health care access. […]

Regular flu season looms as wildcard as Georgia hospitals strain to treat COVID patients

BY: - September 20, 2021

It won’t be long before autumn comes to Georgia, but the changing season could bring more than just cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage. For pharmacists, cold weather means more people coming through their doors looking for relief from stuffy noses and sore throats or to ward off infection with a flu vaccine. October marks the […]

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

Georgia’s rural Trump-supporting turf drags down state’s COVID vaccination rank

BY: - September 9, 2021

When Grantville Councilman Jim Sells started feeling sick this summer, he tried to tough it out. He described himself as a hardcore conservative and a skeptic of masks, vaccines and other COVID-19 precautions. He tried some home remedies he read about online, but nothing helped, so he checked himself into the hospital, not knowing just […]