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GRHA Newsletter    Week of July 20, 2012    [email protected]    478-552-3620


Georgia Rural Health Association (GRHA) is the oldest state rural health association in the country. Founded in 1981, this nonprofit network of healthcare providers, educators, and individuals is united in its commitment to improve the health and healthcare services of rural Georgians. Join now!

FY 2012 GRHA Board of Directors


Sallie Barker

Immediate Past President

Nannette Turner

President Elect

Denise Kornegay

Vice President

Ann Addison


Sheila Freeman


Deidre Howell

Board Members

Carla Belcher

Laura Bland Gillman

Sue Nieman

Charles Owens

Chris Parker

Carie Summers

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Shelley Spires

Joseph Barrow

Robert J. Briscione

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors

  GRHA Welcomes

     New Member






Keystone Mercy Health Plan


Tift Regional Medical Center


Prognosis Health Information Systems


River Valley Commission - AAA





Esther Familia-Cabrera

Dixanne Parker

Carol Smith


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Non-members who register for the 2012 GRHA Annual Conference will receive a one year free membership with the Georgia Rural Health Association!
Some Membership Benefits Include:

Discounted membership rates at all GRHA events


Timely legislative tracking reports throughtout the General Assembly session, guided with the issues members say are important 


Up to date state and national public policy and advocacy e-mail alerts guided by GRHA Legislative Affairs Committee and the NRHA


Grant information available only to members



This offer will end August 23, 2012

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2012 Rural Health Clinic Conference Recorded Webinars


Southwest GA AHEC Distance Learning 




GRHA Corporate Members


Summit Funding Group


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 





Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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  New Funding Opportunity


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced available funding of $70 million to improve the health of small communities across the nation. Grants will be awarded to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations across a variety of sectors, including transportation, housing, education, and public health, in an effort to save lives and control the nation's growing health care costs associated with preventable chronic diseases.


The official funding opportunity announcement for the Community Transformation Grant program Small Communities component can be found by clicking here


Application closing date: July 31, 2012



Funding And Opportunties

georgia map

Community Facilities Funds Available from USDA


USDA, Rural Development Community Facilities Program  

July Health Observances


Cord Blood Awareness Month 


International Group B Strep Awareness Month


Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month


National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month


UV Safety Month

For those who want to stay up to date through social networks, please like the Georgia Rural Health Association Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! 

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By joining our social media sites, you have the ability to stay updated on the latest rural health information in Georgia. Please help us spread the word! Thank you for your support and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Join Our Mailing List
GRHA circulates state and national news as an information service only. Inclusion of information is not intended as an endorsement.

2012 Georgia Rural Health Association 

Annual Conference

September 17 -19, 2012

Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA

2012 Annual conference logo

GRHA Conference Agenda 

 David Cook, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) and;

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers


 Deadline extended to September 7, 2012


Deadline is August 1, 2012


Callaway Gardens Resort  

Reservations: 1-888-312-8002

Ask for GRHA Rate





Time to Nominate Your Colleagues for 2012 GRHA Awards of Excellence

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The nominations are now open for the 2012 GRHA Awards of Excellence.  Click here for more details and  to make a nomination. Deadline is August 1!


You can nominate people or organizations for the following awards:


Legislator of the Year

Outstanding Rural Health Practice or Practitioner .

Outstanding Rural Health Program  

Distinguished Educator/Researcher

James Alley Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Rural Health Care  

Outstanding Volunteer  

Future Professionals in Rural Health  


Awards will be presented at the GRHA Annual Conference in Pine Mountain, Georgia on October 17.


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The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
in association with the Georgia Rural Health Association announce the
1st Annual Medical Fair
New this year!

October 12-13, 2012

 Greensboro, Georgia


Medical Fair Home Page


Free webinar, part 2 in a series:  Psychosocial impact of Multiple Sclerosis.
CME, GNA, NASW and CEU credit available.  Registration is required. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM (EST)





Magnolia Coastlands AHEChealthtec  


State defers plan to restructure Medicaid


The state Department of Community Health, citing the uncertainty about Medicaid's future in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, said Friday that it "would not be prudent at this time'' to pursue a wholesale restructuring of the government insurance program.


The decision means that a major recommendation in a consulting firm's report will not, at least for the foreseeable future, be implemented. The state-commissioned Navigant report in January had recommended putting Medicaid beneficiaries in nursing homes, as well as those with disabilities, into managed-care plans.


The redesign process has drawn intense interest from the medical and insurance communities, as well as patient advocacy organizations.


DCH Commissioner David Cook pointed to the many unanswered questions in the wake of the June court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known the health reform law. The court, by invalidating a federal enforcement clause in the ACA, increased states' flexibility to choose not to expand their Medicaid programs.


Full Story by Andy Miller, GeorgiaNews 


 How to Conduct an ICD-10 Impact Assessment


Although the final rule on the proposed ICD-10 deadline change has yet to be published, it is important to continue planning for the transition to ICD-10. The switch to the new code set will affect every aspect of how your organization provides care, from registration and referrals; to software/hardware upgrades and clinical documentation.


A critical step in planning for the transition is to conduct an impact assessment of how the new code sets will affect your organization. Your impact assessment should include:

Documentation Changes: You will need to consider the increased specificity of ICD-10 codes compared to ICD-9 codes, and ensure that patient encounters are documented with appropriately comprehensive clinical descriptions. You should:

Train staff to accommodate the substantial increase and specificity in code sets

Consider physician workflow and patient volume changes

Revise forms, documents, and encounter forms to reflect ICD-10 codes

Evaluate processes for ordering and reporting lab/diagnostic services to health plans

Reimbursement Structures: You should coordinate with payers on contract negotiations and new policies that reflect the expanded code sets, since they can affect reimbursement schedules.

Systems and Vendor Contracts: Ensure your vendors can accommodate your ICD-10 needs. Find out how and when your vendor plans to update your existing systems. You will need to review existing and new vendor contracts and to evaluate vendor offerings and capabilities against your organization's expectations.   Work with your vendors to draft a schedule for needed tasks.

Business Practices: Once you have implemented ICD-10, you will need to determine how the new codes affect your processes for referrals, authorizations/pre-certifications, patient intake, physician orders, and patient encounters.

Testing: Work with your vendors to determine the amount of time needed for testing and schedule accordingly.


ICD-10 will affect nearly all areas of your practice, but with a thorough impact assessment, you can keep your day-to-day activities running smoothly while you transition to ICD-10.Keep Up to Date on ICD-10.

Please visit the ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare!  

Study: PTSD Treatment For Soldiers Improving, But There's Still Work To Be Done

When it comes to diagnosing and treating posttraumatic stress disorder among soldiers returning from service in Afghanistan, Iraq and other modern battle theaters, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense still have a long way to go to meet the needs of armed service members, according to a new Institute of Medicine study.


Full Story 

By Matthew Fleming, Kaiser Health News

Mark Your Calendar



Cardio-Metabolic Syndrome: Downstream Economic & Patient Impact

Friday, August 10, 2012
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM (EST)

Presenter: Omar M. Lattouf, MD, PhD, FACC, FACS
Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery
Emory University School of Medicine




Georgia Oral Health Summit

Monday, August 13, 2012

Macon, GA

Registration and Agenda coming soon!


2012Georgia Rural Health Association Annual Conference

September 17-19, 2012



20th Annual NALBOH Conference

Aug 8 - 10, 2012

National Association of Local Boards of Health

Hyatt Regency Downtown

Atlanta, GA

For more information, contact:

Tracy Schupp

[email protected]



2012 National Medicare Region IV Train-the-Trainer


Aug 21 - 23, 2012

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Atlanta, GA

Information and Registration Link


2012 Annual NASCSP Conference

Sep 11 - 14, 2012 

National Association for State Community Services Programs

Grand Hyatt Atlanta

Atlanta, GA


GAFP's 2012 Annual Meeting & Scientific Assembly

November 8-10, 2012

Cobb Galleria- Atlanta, GA

For more information:


ICD-10-CM Workshop

Dec 14, 2012  

American Medical Association

Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

Details and Registration

For more information, contact: Desiree Evans

[email protected]

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