Georgia Pulse: A year in review

The following are some of the most important stories that were included in ‘Georgia Pulse’ in 2019…
Medical Association of Georgia opposes ‘heartbeat’ bill (features then-MAG president Rutledge Forney, M.D.)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The state Senate Science and Technology Committee voted 3-2, along both gender and partisan lines, to advance House Bill 481, the “heartbeat” measure that would ban nearly all abortions in Georgia. | READ MORE
Georgia physicians and pharmacists oppose Medicaid managed care merger (features MAG)
The Center Square
Georgia insurance regulators will decide next month whether or not to approve a merger of two managed care companies, WellCare of Georgia Inc. and Centene Corp. A group of Georgia physicians and pharmacists say a merger between the two companies could monopolize insurance coverage and jeopardize patients. | READ MORE
[Then-] Medical Association of Georgia president [Rutledge Forney, M.D.] talks opioid abuse
Strides are being made in Georgia to curb opioid use. A new report by the American Medical Association suggest it’s mainly due to doctors taking heed and thinking twice, maybe even three times, before prescribing. | READ MORE
Surprise medical billing: Some states are ahead of the feds (features then-MAG President Rutledge Forney, M.D.)
At least 25 states now have laws protecting patients from surprise out-of-network bills, usually for emergency care they received at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. At least 20 states are considering legislation this year, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. | READ MORE
AMA [and MAG, others] takes a stand for transgender Americans in Supreme Court filing
AMA Wire
To protect transgender individuals’ physical and mental health—and reduce stigma—LGBTQ+ individuals must be protected from discrimination in the workplace, the Litigation Center of the American Medical Association and State Medical Societies tell the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief. | READ MORE
Fighting the doctor shortage in rural Georgia (features MAG member Scott Bohlke, M.D.)
Georgia Health News
A recently released state report shows some gains in the number of such primary care physicians in the state. But major doctor shortages still exist in rural Georgia, according to the report from Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce. | READ MORE
Doctors testify against vaping in legislative hearing (features MAG members)
The Brunswick News
State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, opened her committee meeting Tuesday morning with the assurance that it would not be the last one on the subject – the sheer speed at which people filled speaking roles on the topic of vaping and public health led her to tentatively schedule at least one more hearing before the beginning of the 2020 legislative session. | READ MORE
Medical Association of Georgia to recommend ways to ensure low-THC/CBD product safety
Albany Herald
The Medical Association of Georgia will develop recommendations for the General Assembly Georgia Cannabis Commission and the medical cannabis industry that will be formed in the coming months to ensure that applicable patients have access to low-THC/CBD oil that is safe to use. | READ MORE
Georgia women doctors to take over top posts at national physician organizations (features MAG members Patrice Harris, M.D., and Jacqueline Fincher, M.D., and then-MAG President Rutledge Forney, M.D.)
Georgia Health News
For generations, the U.S. physician workforce has been overwhelmingly male. But that’s changing, especially among younger doctors. | READ MORE
Longstreet Clinic physician leading state medical association (features MAG President Andrew Reisman, M.D.)
Gainesville Times
Dr. Andrew Reisman, a Longstreet Clinic physician, is the new president of the Medical Association of Georgia, putting him at the forefront of policy issues ahead of the 2020 legislative session. | READ MORE
MAG Foundation to fund primary care scholarships at MCG
Albany Herald
The Medical Association Georgia Foundation announced last week that, beginning in 2020, it will fund a $10,000 scholarship each year for the next five years for a fourth-year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University who goes into a primary care specialty in Georgia. | READ MORE
Study of Americans' attitudes on health care uncovers concerns about cost, candidate proposals & the opioid epidemic (Physicians Foundation’s biennial patient survey)
Cision PR Newswire
The Physicians Foundation released its biennial Survey of America's Patients, revealing the biggest hurdles facing Americans today in our country's expensive and hard to navigate health care system. | READ MORE
ABMS announces plans to implement Vision Commission’s [MOC reform] recommendations
American Board of Medical Specialties Press Release
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors (BOD) has announced its plans to address the recommendations shared in the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission’s (Commission) final report. | READ MORE
Advertise with MAG: Please contact Tom Kornegay at 678.303.9260 or 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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