Update on Healthcare Legislation for Feb. 16


Several healthcare bills continued to dominate legislative debate in the GA General Assembly last week. Our latest legislative report provides updates on these and many other issues.

From the report:

HB 769 is an omnibus bill coming out of the House Rural Development Council which met across the state during the interim.

The bill:

  • Eases the restrictions on remote order entry by hospital pharmacies when a staff pharmacist is not in the hospital;
  • Directs Medicaid to streamline the provider credentialing and billing processes and to update its payment policies for telehealth services;
  • Creates a new grant program for physicians who agree to practice in underserved rural areas of the state;
  • Creates a Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability; and
  • Increases the rural hospital tax credit to 100% and adds subchapter S corporations to the list of those eligible to participate.

The bill passed out of the House HHS committee on Tuesday.

Georgia ranks next to last among states in the number of maternal deaths within one year of giving birth. No one is content with that statistic and freshman Representative Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) has introduced HB 909 to address the problem. The bill would establish a program that encourages improvement in maternal and neonatal outcomes. Georgia also ranks 32nd worst for infant deaths before the age of one. The measure requires the Department of Public Health to establish quality criteria for various levels of maternal and neonatal care, which when met, would qualify a hospital to become a “designated” facility.

The House passed HB 678 by Insurance Committee Chair Richard Smith (R-Columbus) on Monday. The bill addresses “surprise medical billing” by placing certain disclosure requirements on hospitals, physicians and insurance companies for non-emergency services.

Click here to read the full legislative report for the week ending Feb. 16, 2018.