JANUARY 26, 2017

Patients and physicians rally to end the 'surprise insurance gap' (features MAG president)
Market Watch
In a Capitol Rotunda rally, a coalition of physicians and patient advocates today endorsed a platform of key guidelines they say should be included in legislation intended to end balance billing in the emergency department. | READ MORE
Federal judge swats Aetna-Humana insurer combo
Associated Press
A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna's bid to buy rival Humana on grounds that the deal would hurt competition in hundreds of Medicare Advantage markets, ultimately affecting the price consumers pay for coverage. | READ MORE
Sen. Isakson [op-ed]: Price is right
USA Today
When President Trump announced his selection of Dr. Tom Price to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I applauded the choice. | READ MORE
[Georgia Insurance Commissioner] Hudgens urges more local insurance control
Georgia Health News
Georgia’s insurance commissioner wants Republicans in Congress to allow states more flexibility in setting their own health insurance rules. | READ MORE
MACRA cuts back health IT criteria for physicians
Medical Economics
The path to the new Medicare physician payment system known as the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which began on January 1, is strewn with pitfalls for doctors. Among those are some of the provisions related to health IT, which in various forms is interwoven throughout the program. | READ MORE
Medical care [in southwest Georgia] continues to be offered to those impacted by Sunday’s tornado
Albany Herald
Hospitals in Southwest Georgia and the Southwest Public Health District were among those offering aid to victims impacted by Sunday’s tornado, ranging from treatment of traumatic injuries to assisting with recovery. | READ MORE
[Cook County, Georgia] ER that aided storm victims is slated for consolidation
The announcement came last week: Cook Medical Center in Adel will soon shutter its emergency room. | READ MORE
Hospitals, medical groups increasingly turn to temporary physicians, survey shows
Healthcare Finance
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are increasingly looking to temporary physicians, also known as locum tenens, to fill staffing gaps. That's according to a new survey conducted by Staff Care, a temporary physician staffing firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. | READ MORE
Learning to say no: Hospitals train emergency doctors to resist prescribing opioids
Stat News
A patient admitted to the trauma unit of the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital was prescribed opioid painkillers for injuries he sustained in a nasty car crash. Within days, the patient returned for more pills, the first of many trips to multiple doctors. | READ MORE
CDC cancels planned summit on climate change and health
Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has canceled a summit next month on climate change and health. | READ MORE
Tackling patients’ social problems can cut health costs
Kaiser Health News
Donning a protective gown, rubber gloves and a face mask, Dayna Gurley looks like she’s heading into surgery. But Gurley is a medical social worker charged with figuring out why her client, a man who uses more health care services than almost anyone else in Houston, has been in three different hospitals in the last month. | READ MORE
Drug industry spending jumped as cures crossed finish line
Roll Call
The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry lobbying giants ramped up their advocacy spending in the final three months of 2016, just as Congress was finalizing a new law aimed at speeding drug development and research. | READ MORE
Secret rebates erode drug maker revenue, industry study says
Branded drug companies’ share of total U.S. spending on their products is declining, in part because of an increase in secret rebates paid to middlemen, according to an analysis sponsored by an industry group that’s been seeking to deflect scrutiny of rising prices. | 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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