The nation’s rate of maternal mortality has been steadily rising, and nowhere is that increase more evident than in Georgia. Georgia has the highest rate of maternal deaths among the 50 states, according to public health officials here. The Georgia estimate of 35 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 has risen from 20.5 from the period 2001 to 2006.
A state agency is updating its hospital coding system for the Medicaid program to meet federal requirements next year. The current “diagnosis related groups” (DRG) system used to reimburse Georgia hospitals is based on cost data derived from 2004 and 2005, and the new one will use 2011 and 2012 data, the Department of Community Health said this week.
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.
Georgia’s hospitals contribute $38 billion to the state’s economy, according to a new analysis from the Georgia Hospital Association. The total includes jobs, direct spending and the ripple effects of that spending and employment.
Georgia’s hospitals on the whole are doing better than the national standard at preventing certain infections patients get from being in the hospital, but seven of the state’s medical centers aren’t keeping up with their peers.
Hospitals in Georgia are suffering under the weight of the sluggish economy, and the financial strain is especially heavy for smaller, rural medical centers. Nearly half of the state’s rural hospitals are operating in the red, according to the latest hospital financial survey by the state Department of Community Health.
Despite a still shaky economy, multi-million dollar hospital expansion projects are moving ahead across the state. For some hospitals, there’s no choice. Hospital CEO’s say they need to serve a growing and aging population, and fight-off competitors for future patients.