Sixty thousand of Georgia’s nearly 10 million residents will see the cost of their healthcare coverage increase under the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to a report released Thursday by the liberal healthcare consumer watchdog Families USA. Families USA says 0. 6 percent of Georgians will have their health coverage terminated because it doesn’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.
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.
Georgia could be missing out on $35 billion in federal money over the next 10 years, according to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. The group held a forum Thursday to discuss why the state could benefit from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
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.
Employees from the non-profit group Enroll America had partnered with healthcare navigators to help people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act Tuesday, but website issues dashed their plans. Instead, Enroll America staffers handed out information and gave presentations to the public at the East Point branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.
Public libraries have been preparing themselves for what many believe could be a surge in visitors as online health insurance exchanges open under the Affordable Care Act. “In large swaths of Georgia, the only place you can get free internet is at your public library,” said Alan Harkness, director of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus.
Georgia’s federally-run online health exchange is scheduled to open at 12:01 Tuesday morning, but the state’s 2 million uninsured might need to wait for enrollment assistance. According to Gary Allen, a media relations representative for Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, only four “healthcare navigators” have been licensed in the state.