Georgia Senate passes comprehensive health care reforms
For Immediate Release:
Today, the Georgia Senate addressed Georgia’s health care crisis with comprehensive reforms aimed at reducing costs, increasing access, and enhancing quality care. The Senate passed multiple pieces of health care legislation, including: SB 18 (Direct Primary Care Act), HB 62 (Margie’s Law), SB 115 and SB 118 (Telemedicine reform), and SB 106 (Patients First Act).
“Georgians deserve a high-quality, affordable health care system and expect their elected leaders to take meaningful steps towards delivering on that goal,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “We’ve promised action – and we’re here to deliver. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Kemp on the Patients First Act, but we know that it alone is not a silver bullet. By taking telehealth from pilot status to widespread practice, allowing physicians to provide lower-priced services, and taking steps to increase early detection of breast cancer, we’re advancing comprehensive health reform. There’s still more to do. We will keep working.”
The Direct Primary Care Act (SB 18) – authored by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – 32) – allows physicians to provide direct primary care to patients without having to incur costs of insurance billing and overhead.
Margie’s Law (HB 62) – authored by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R – 43) – requires health care facilities that conduct mammograms to notify a patient when the patient’s mammogram demonstrates the presence of dense breast tissue.
SB 115 – authored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R – 45) – allows for physicians outside of Georgia to be licensed as a telemedicine provider by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
The Georgia Telemedicine Act (SB 118) – authored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R – 45) – is a comprehensive reform of Georgia’s outdated telemedicine act. The bill updates the law in an effort to increase the prevalence of telemedicine.
The Patients First Act (SB 106) – authored by Sen. Blake Tillery (R – 19) – is an initiative of Governor Brian Kemp and would authorize the Governor’s office to seek both 1115 and 1332 waivers to reform Georgia’s Medicaid system and provide better private market insurance plans than currently available under Obamacare.