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GRHA Newsletter  Week of August 23, 2013    [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 2013 GRHA Board of Directors


Denise Kornegay

Immediate Past President

Sallie Barker

President Elect

Ann Addison

Vice- President

Shelly Spires


Sheila Freeman


Laura Bland Gillman

Board Members

Carla Belcher

Tim Trottier

Mary Mathis

Sue Nieman

Charles Owens

Chris Parker

Chuck Adams

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Joseph Barrow

Robert J. Briscione

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors


GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 







Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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2013 County Health Rankings


Funding And Opportunties

August Health Observances

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

Please join us for the 
2013 GRHA Annual Conference 
in Savannah!

Keynote Speakers

Georgia Department of Community Health Commissioner 
Clyde L. Reese III, Esq

James A. Hotz, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Dr. Hotz was an inspiration for the novel (and subsequent movie) Doc Hollywood.

Desoto Hilton, Savannah
October 21-23
Conference room rate is $140.00. Please use the group code GRH to make your reservation.

(Deadline August 28, 2013)

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HHS Watchdog Says Rural Hospital Program Needs A Trim
By Jenny Gold

AUGUST 15TH, 2013, 8:16 AM


The federal government's program to help rural hospitals has grown bloated and unwieldy, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The program costs the government and Medicare beneficiaries up to a billion dollars a year more than the original parameters of the law allowed, the agency found.


The critical access hospital program was intended to financially stabilize small, rural institutions by providing them with higher Medicare reimbursement rates. The hospitals in the program are supposed to have 25 or fewer beds and be at least 35 miles away from another facility (15 miles across mountainous terrain) in communities that would otherwise have limited access to health care services. The effort was a response to a spate of 360 rural hospital closures in the 1980s and 1990s.


Read more

NRHA is busy making your voice louder in national news outlets and on Capitol Hill. Check out these articles on NRHA's response to last week's flawed Health and Human Services report on critical access hospitals. 
Judge refuses to halt state health contract
By: Andy Miller
Published: Aug 21, 2013

A Fulton County judge Wednesday rejected UnitedHealthcare's request for an injunction to halt the implementation of a lucrative contract for the state employee health plan.


Attorneys for United argued that the Department of Community Health's award of a State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) contract to a rival company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, amounted to "state-sponsored bid-rigging.''


Superior Court Judge Kimberly Adams declined to intervene, accepting the state's argument that United has not yet exhausted its appeals with Community Health officials as it seeks to overturn the deal.


The multibillion-dollar contract covers medical services for more than 650,000 state employees, schoolteachers, other school personnel, retirees and dependents.


United, which covers most of the policyholders under the current SHBP contract, has mounted a strong attack against Community Health's actions, saying the department has not produced all relevant documents under the Open Records Act and conducted a "secret'' bid for a regional contract.


Read more

Mark Your Calendar


30th Annual Georgia Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates Conference:

September 20-22, 2013
Evergreen Marriott Resort
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
4021 Lakeview Drive 

2013 Georgia Chapter Scientific Meeting
American College of Physicians
October 4-6, 2013
Hyatt Regency
Savannah, Georgia

1st Annual Wound Care Conference
River City Wound and Ostomny Group
October 30, 2013
Columbus Regional Conference Center
710 Center Street
Columbus, GA 31901
More Information

Matt Caseman