FEBRUARY 9, 2017
With [Rep. Tom Price] confirmation looming, Georgia lawmakers seek to cap Medicaid funding (features MAG executive director)
Modern Healthcare
The confirmation of U.S. Rep. Tom Price as the next HHS secretary is expected any day now. That's empowered Republican lawmakers in his home state of Georgia to make become the first in the nation to seek a per-capita cap waiver for Medicaid. | READ MORE

[Georgia] Senate panel hears surprising testimony on surprise medical bills
Georgia Health News

Physician, hospital and insurer groups each expressed concerns Tuesday about Georgia Senate legislation that aims to prevent “surprise billing’’ of patients. | READ MORE

U.S. health insurance mergers killed as companies plot moves

After 18 months of courtship and court cases, two massive deals that would have reshaped the U.S. health insurance industry have both been declared dead, blocked by judges who said they’d do unacceptable harm to competition in the industry. | READ MORE

Rome, Floyd and Polk police to carry OD spray (features MAG Foundation’s 'Project DAN')
Rome News-Tribune

Local law enforcement officers will start carrying instant antidotes for overdoses from oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin and other opioid drugs. | READ MORE
Georgia bill would require new ADHD prescriptions every 5 days
A bill meant to curb the abuse of prescription opioids in Georgia has stirred outrage in the ADHD community because a provision requires adults and children on medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to get new prescriptions every five days. | READ MORE
Georgia House panel OKs broader medical cannabis access
The Telegraph

Georgians who have autism, intractable pain or a handful of other diagnoses would be allowed to posses medical cannabis under a bill moving through the state House. | READ MORE

Survey quantifies time burdens of prior authorization
AMA Wire

What do you do 37 times in a given workweek? If you are a fervent coffee drinker, perhaps that is how often you refill your trusty travel mug. But if you are like the physicians recently surveyed by the AMA, 37 may be the number of prior-authorization (PA) requests that you and your hardworking staffers complete each week. | READ MORE
Obamacare enrollment down sharply in Georgia

Georgia saw one of the biggest drops in Obamacare enrollment across the country with nearly 94,000 fewer people signing up for health coverage this year compared with 2016. | READ MORE

Express Scripts says prescription drug spending slowed in 2016

Express Scripts Holding Co, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, said prescription drug spending for its members slowed to less than 4 percent in 2016, at a time when scrutiny of drug price hikes has intensified. | READ MORE

Doctors who trained abroad are better at their jobs, study says

Nearly a quarter of doctors practicing in the United States did their medical training in another country—a fact many patients seem to hold against them. | READ MORE

Getting patients hooked on an opioid overdose antidote, then raising the price
Kaiser Health News

First came Martin Shkreli, the brash young pharmaceutical entrepreneur who raised the price for an AIDS treatment by 5,000 percent. Then, Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, who oversaw the price hike for its signature Epi-Pen to more than $600 for a twin-pack, though its active ingredient costs pennies by comparison. | READ MORE

A quarter of adults in the U.S. have hearing loss because of noise
The Washington Post

Forty million American adults have lost some hearing because of noise, and half of them suffered the damage outside the workplace, from everyday exposure to leaf blowers, sirens, rock concerts and other loud sounds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. | READ MORE
Advertise with MAG: Please contact Tom Kornegay at 678.303.9260 or tkornegay@mag.org if you are interested in running an ad in the Georgia Pulse, which is a weekly compilation of media reports that are related to health care and the medical profession. It is sent to more than 6,000 physicians in Georgia.
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