The financial arithmetic from the Affordable Care Act could inadvertently undermine the safety net in Georgia, the CEO of Grady Health System said Tuesday. Grady’s chief executive, John Haupert, pointed to the health reform law’s removal of federal funding that hospitals receive for treating a large share of low-income patients.
Phoebe Putney Health System said Thursday that it is cutting 127 jobs as part of an organizational restructuring. These reductions come on top of the 33 “leadership’’ positions eliminated earlier this month by Phoebe Putney, the dominant hospital system in southwest Georgia. The Albany-based system said the job reduction would lower operating costs by $10 million. Similar staffing cuts are occurring elsewhere in the state and nation.
Months after a high-profile fight to renew Georgia’s provider fee, the hospital industry is again concerned about the fee’s fate. This time, the source of the industry’s anxiety is not the state Capitol, but Washington. As the fiscal standoff intensified last month, the Republican House leadership at one point pushed repealing such Medicaid provider assessments, including those for nursing homes, according to hospital industry officials.
With talk of a debt deal in Washington, state officials are breathing a sigh of relief. That’s because Gov. Nathan Deal says Georgia doesn’t have the cash to pick up the slack on federally-funded programs such as Medicaid.
A state health agency board gave initial approval Thursday to offering care coordination services to 450,000 Medicaid beneficiaries who have disabilities or are elderly. The proposal for the “aged, blind and disabled’’ population comes as part of the state’s move to improve care and reduce spending. Officials also announced that Georgia primary care physicians are scheduled to start receiving a pay hike for Medicaid services Nov. 1.
Federal prosecutors say Emory University has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle claims that billed Medicare and Medicaid for services not allowed by the rules of programs. A statement released Wednesday says the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens reached the settlement with Emory.
The US Justice Department is making its largest-ever restitution payment in the agency's Southern District. US Attorney Edward Tarver announced the $27 million repayment in Savannah. Tarver said the money comes from a father-and-son crime ring that defrauded federal, state and private health insurers.
Health officials say they're looking to hire a for-profit company to oversee the care of some of the state's most vulnerable children. Youth advocates and pediatricians say so-called "managed care" could help better coordinate their health care.
An administrator of a Georgia medical center has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit claiming the facility has been overbilling government insurers. Administrative director of the John B. Amos Cancer Center, Richard Barker, alleges physicians systematically overbilled Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.