House passes bill to create rating system for cardiac centers 
On the heels of last week’s “Crossover Day,” Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Government Relations Director Derek Norton says that there were not a lot of legislative developments to report from the State Capitol this week.
The Georgia House of Representatives did pass a bill (S.B. 102) by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) that would create a three-tier rating system for cardiac care centers. MAG supports this measure, which is now expected to be signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal.
“That notwithstanding, there were a few committee meetings – but not much in terms of legislative action,” explains Norton. “We did, however, have some productive meetings with lawmakers and other key stakeholders to address MAG’s priority bills.” 
House HHS passes visiting sports physicians, organ donor bills
The Georgia House of Representatives’ Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee passed a bill (S.B. 47) by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) that would allow a visiting sports team’s physicians and athletic trainers to provide care in Georgia without the need to be licensed in the state. MAG supports this legislation.
The House HHS also passed a bill (S.B. 96) by Sen. Ben Watson, M.D. (R-Savannah) that would allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses to pronounce an organ donor’s death in hospice settings. MAG is neutral on this legislation.
Both bills will now go to the House Rules Committee.
Contact Derek Norton at or 678.303.9280 with any questions related to this year’s legislative session. 
Thanking this week’s ‘Doctor of the Day’ volunteers
MAG is thanking and applauding its ‘Doctor of the Day’ volunteers for the week of March 6, which include…
Brett Cannon, M.D.
Patrick Meloy, M.D.
Brooks L. Moore, M.D.
Henry J. Siegelson, M.D.
James L. Smith Jr., M.D.
Robert J. Wagner, M.D.
MAG Doctor of the Day volunteers work in the Medical Aid Station at the State Capitol, where they provide free minor medical care to legislators and their staff members. 
Go to for additional information on the MAG ‘Doctor of the Day’ program, including logistical details and FAQ.
Reserve a room for MAG’s summer seminar for $189/night
The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging its member physicians to reserve a room for MAG’s 2017 ‘Legislative Education Seminar,’ which will take place at the Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris on the evening of Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24. 
MAG members can call 800.201.3205 and ask for the “Medical Association of Georgia” discount to reserve a room for $189 per night. The discount will be available until May 17 or until MAG’s block of rooms sells out.  
More than 25 state legislators attended this event in 2016.
Monitor for additional details, and contact Derek Norton at or 678.303.9280 with any questions.
MAG’s 2017 state legislative priorities 
The Medical Association of Georgia’s priorities for the 2017 state legislative session include…
Out-of-Network Billing & Network Adequacy
MAG will 1) support reforms that will require appropriate network adequacy standards for health insurers and 2) call for health insurers to be more transparent in their contracts with physicians’ practices and 3) support legislation that will result in physician payment methodologies that are adequate and sustainable for out-of-network emergency care.  
Medicaid Payment Parity
MAG will be an advocate for the General Assembly to continue to fund the Medicaid parity payment program for all areas of primary care.
Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
MAG will 1) work to ensure that Maintenance of Certification is not a condition of licensure or a condition of hospital credentialing and 2) support efforts that will alleviate the costly and burdensome aspects of MOC for physicians.
Patient Safety
MAG will be an advocate for legislation that improves patient safety.
Contact MAG Government Relations director Derek Norton at or 678.303.9280 with questions related to MAG’s legislative priorities for 2017.
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