Rebecca Grapevine is a freelance journalist who was born and raised in Georgia. She has written about public health in both India and the United States, and she holds a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan.
Last year, as Georgia endured the strain of COVID-19, a blue-ribbon commission quietly held regular meetings about how to improve mental health services in the state. The panel issued its report in January, just as the state Legislature convened for its annual session. Yet nothing came of the panel’s recommendations.
As the nation reels from last week’s shooting spree that killed eight in the Atlanta area, a gun rights bill is poised for passage in the Georgia General Assembly. House Bill 218 got through most of the legislative process before the shootings March 16 at three metro Atlanta massage businesses.
Since April, 33 probate judges in Georgia have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s up from 17 in November. With one probate judge for each of the state’s 159 counties, that’s an infection rate of about 20 percent. And 69 clerks of those courts have been infected.
Federal law requires states to update their plans for improving Medicaid health care quality at least every three years. Georgia, however, published its most recent quality plan in February 2016. It’s at least two years out of date.
Nine years ago, Georgia reported ample data to the feds on the health care quality of its Medicaid and PeachCare programs. In fact, a federal report at that time praised Georgia’s “proactive role in designing its data systems to support quality measurement.”
But according to a Georgia Health News analysis, for the past two years, Georgia reported only a fraction of the information the federal Core Set requested.