2016 MAG Legislative Education Seminar

posted Jul 31, 2016, 1:01 PM by Ccms Admin   [ updated Aug 6, 2016, 10:14 AM ]

Another successful MAG Legislative Education Seminar at Jekyll Island

Coffee County MAG representatives Dr. Charles Miller and Dr. James Barber attended the meeting at the beautiful Westin Hotel at Jekyll Island on July 29-30. Twenty-five legislators, including U.S. Representative Buddy Carter, met with MAG throughout the weekend to discuss healthcare in Georgia. The main issues discussed with legislators were: 

  1. Healthcare Insurance Mergers: In line with AMA and MAG efforts, the DOJ filed a federal lawsuit last week which has stopped insurance company mergers for the immediate future (read more here). Thanks to all who wrote emails and letters in support of blocking the merger. 
  2. Narrow Networks: Insurance companies have created payment problems with inadequate, narrow, and inaccurate networks. This leads to patients being billed for services that should have been covered by insurance contracts, and leads to providers discovering after-the-fact that insurance did not cover their services. In discussions, the legislators were receptive to our concerns, and MAG will continue efforts in opposing network inadequacy and networks in general. 
  3. Medicaid Expansion: Legislation to expand the Georgia Medicaid program is currently being considered, and the pros and cons of expansion were discussed this weekend. The persistent uninsured population under the ACA remains an issue, and federal tax dollars could be made available to Georgians if Medicaid is expanded. Unfortunately, the money from the federal government is a temporary provision, and once it expires the state of Georgia alone will be responsible for funding the expanded Medicaid program. Though the initial influx of federal funds could be helpful, the expanded Medicaid program would have to fall within a balanced state budget once the federal funding has expired. 

As a final note, a MAG sub-meeting of the Georgia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was held. The MRC is made up of volunteers and focuses on training and responding to emergency situations called out by the governor. Upcoming simulations and training are planned for members to prepare themselves to identify and prevent acts of terrorism. A second session will deal with a simulation of a radiologic emergency. The MRC is part of FEMA and provides a group of pre-credentialed and trained volunteers to respond to emergencies. Physicians are encouraged to volunteer and openings are available to many others in the medical field.

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