A group of state lawmakers wants Medicaid patients to help pay for their care. A Senate committee says Georgia’s current Medicaid program is financially unsustainable. This year, the General Assembly had to renew a tax on hospitals to cover a $700 million shortfall in Medicaid. Medicaid costs in Georgia are also expected to increase by more than $100 million next year, due to changes under the Affordable Care Act.
Physician assistants can help ease the shortage of primary care physicians, according to a study released earlier this month. But Georgia also has a shortage of PAs. With that gap in mind, the Georgia campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine said recently that it plans to open a physician assistant program.
The future of health care will feature greater use of electronic medical data, and more patients will be involved in their own care, a panel of health officials said Tuesday. Through technology and other changes, “we’re going to have better health care and lower costs,’’ Dennis White, president and CEO of Alliant Health Solutions, told an audience at the Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta.
Emergency medicine is unique. At any time of the day or night, practitioners in an ER must be ready to treat any kind of problem, said Dr. Sam Kini, a veteran emergency physician. Patients rush in with everything from chest pains to vaginal discharge. Among the common problems are back pains, abdominal cramps, fevers, bruises and sprains. Kini said the ER is a blend of specialties, and that makes it an invaluable place to teach.
Two South Georgia health systems are reaching out across state borders for help in positioning themselves better in a tumultuous health care world. Phoebe Putney Health System, based in Albany, announced Tuesday that it had struck a partnership with an affiliate of a renowned Pennsylvania-based health system, Geisinger, to improve quality of care and reduce costs.
Over the next few months, thousands of fourth-year medical students will apply to residency programs across the United States. On average, each of them sends 10 to 20 applications — hoping to find the post-graduate training of their dreams. On average, program directors receive about 2,000 applications, letters of recommendations, medical school transcripts and other documents through the Electronic Residency Application Service. But because most programs have only 15 or 20 slots to fill, directors must turn away far more hopefuls than they accept.
WellStar Health System said Wednesday that is planning its third “health park’’ in Cobb County. The facility will be located in the Smyrna/Vinings area, an affluent area close to the city of Atlanta. It is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016. The health park concept seeks to provide an array of outpatient services at one location, aimed at customer convenience.
Shortages of dozens of critical drugs have persisted in the United States in recent years, with manufacturing problems cited as a major reason. Some of the drugs in limited supply include anesthetics, chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics, painkillers and intravenous solutions. An Athens shortage of doxycycline also illustrates the opaque pricing of drugs, devices and medical procedures. The health care system provides very few simple ways for consumers to compare costs before they obtain a service or drug.
The uninsured and young people are the most likely to support the Affordable Care Act and its provisions, a new poll of Georgians finds. Yet these groups are the least likely to be familiar with the fact that the ACA is still the law of land, and hasn’t been repealed by Congress or struck down by the courts, according to the poll, released Monday by Healthcare Georgia Foundation.