Georgia Pulse: A year in review

The following are some of the most important stories that were included in ‘Georgia Pulse’ in 2018 in chronological order…
Patients getting stuck with big bills after ER visits (features MAG's CEO)
Consumer Reports
One Monday last September, Kimberly Fister-Mesch woke up in the middle of the night from head pain so severe she thought she might be having a stroke. Taking Motrin and Tylenol did nothing. | READ MORE
Facing heat from governor, Blue Cross and Piedmont settle dispute
Georgia Health News
The pressure from Gov. Nathan Deal evidently worked. Deal announced Tuesday afternoon that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare had reached a “handshake” agreement on a new contract. | READ MORE
Georgia ranked in top tier for action against opioid abuse
Georgia Health News
Georgia is one of 13 states receiving the highest mark from the National Safety Council for taking comprehensive actions to eliminate opioid overdoses and help protect residents. | READ MORE
Gov. Deal signs new hands-free distracted driving bill into law
Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the hands-free distracted driving bill into law. | READ MORE
Ready for her closeup: Dr. Patrice Harris makes history as first black women to lead American Medical Association
The Atlanta Voice
When Dr. Patrice A. Harris, M.D., decided she would go into medicine as a youth, she never thought she would eventually make history. | READ MORE
[MAG and ACEP] sue over Blue Cross denial of some ER claims
Georgia Health News
Two physicians organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and its parent company over the insurer’s emergency room payment policy, calling it “dangerous.’’ | READ MORE
Letter to the editor: Shame on state’s largest health insurer (by MAG member)
Savannah Morning News
Anthem’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia subsidiary should be ashamed. | READ MORE
Medical association encourages flu vaccinations before October (features MAG)
Albany Herald
The Medical Association of Georgia is encouraging Georgians to get vaccinated for the flu by the end of October. | READ MORE
Physicians say BCBS of Georgia has denied hundreds of patients' ER claims: 'This puts patients in a terrible position' (features MAG then-president)
Becker's Hospital Review
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia's discretionary emergency room policy is landing hundreds of patients with denied claims after the insurer decided their care could be performed outside the ER, according to physicians who testified during a Sept. 27 hearing. | READ MORE
American Board of Medical Specialties names members of newly formed stakeholder council (including MAG's CEO)
American Board of Medical Specialties
The American Board of Medical Specialties has named the members of its newly formed Stakeholder Council at the October 25-26, 2018 Board of Directors  meeting in Chicago. | READ MORE
Rutledge Forney, M.D., sworn in as MAG president
Rutledge Forney, M.D., was sworn into office as the president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) during a ceremony that took place during the organization’s 164th House of Delegates meeting on Jekyll Island on October 20. | READ MORE
More than 1,000 doctors violating state opioid law
Atlanta Journal Constitution
About 1,100 of the state’s physicians are now considered lawbreakers under a Georgia law intended to help put an end to the opioid epidemic, but so far nothing has been done to punish them. | READ MORE
Not so fast: Judge delays CVS-Aetna closure, instructs companies to remain separate
Just last week, CVS and Aetna announced the closing of their megamerger, but a federal judge is now effectively saying not so fast. Leon said Monday the two should keep their companies separate until he can enter a final judgment on the case.  | 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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