MARCH 5, 2020
Two in Fulton County test positive for coronavirus
Georgia Health News
Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday night that two individuals in the state are confirmed as having the virus, known as COVID-19. The two are in the same household, and one had traveled recently to Milan, Italy, where there is a significant outbreak of the disease. READ MORE
CMS announces actions to address spread of coronavirus
CMS Press Release
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced several actions that are aimed at limiting the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). This includes “issuing a call to action to health care providers across the country to ensure they are implementing their infection control procedures, which they are required to maintain at all times.” READ MORE
Coronavirus to test Georgia’s chronic health gaps
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The best defense against coronavirus is the good underlying health of the patient, and the best way to contain an outbreak is a quick response, but Georgians face unusual challenges in these regards. They are less likely to have health insurance than most other Americans, and some areas of the state have sparse medical care. | READ MORE
Surgeon General urges the public to stop buying face masks
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The surgeon general on Saturday urged the public to stop buying masks, warning that it won’t help against the spread of the coronavirus but will take away important resources from health care professionals. | READ MORE
State marijuana commission comes to Austell (mentions MAG Institute President Kelly DeGraffenreid, M.D.)
Marietta Daily Journal
The group tasked with figuring out how to distribute medical marijuana in Georgia gathered in Austell on Saturday for its third meeting. | READ MORE
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen op-ed: Surprise medical billing must end (mentions MAG)
The Augusta Chronicle
We never know when an accident or medical emergency will happen, but we do know that when you receive care you’ll likely receive a bill in the mail. But too often, properly insured patients go to a hospital or other health care provider and end up with costly, unexpected charges. | READ MORE
[Georgia] House panel approves restrictions on PBMs, surprise medical billing
Georgia Health News
A trio of House bills aim to strengthen regulation and scrutiny over the PBMs. One bill, in fact, could lead to the removal of existing PBMs from the Medicaid program’s managed care business. | READ MORE
Georgia may scrap ‘get out of jail free card’ for distracted driving
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Motorists cited for handling their cellphones while driving can bring a receipt for a hands-free device to court, and a judge must dismiss the citation. Now the General Assembly may eliminate the provision as it debates whether to raise fines for distracted driving. | READ MORE
Alternative payment models save, but drop-out rate still a concern
Revcycle Intelligence
Alternative payment models (APM) primarily run by Medicare have generally produced modest savings and quality improvements. However, popular APMs including accountable care organization and bundled payment models have high drop-out rates, which may indicate a problem with downside risk... | READ MORE
Women in top U.S. medical school positions earn less than men
Even in top positions at U.S. medical schools, women earn less than men, a study suggests. | READ MORE
Medication fog can mimic or worsen dementia in the elderly
Associated Press
About 91 percent of people over 65 take at least one prescription medicine and 41 percent use five or more – what doctors call polypharmacy. But some medicines don’t have a strong reason to be used and their risks may outweigh their benefits for older people. | READ MORE
Study: Doctors’ ratings tank when patients are kept waiting
A long delay in the waiting room annoys some patients so much that they give their doctors lower ratings, a new study finds. | READ MORE
About 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese, government survey finds
Associated Press
About 4 in 10 American adults are obese, and nearly 1 in 10 is severely so, government researchers said Thursday. | READ MORE
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