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GRHA Newsletter  Week of September 27, 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 welcomes new Organizational Member!
South Central Primary Care Center, Ocilla, GA
R.B. Tucker

GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 







Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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Al-GA Rural Health Clinic Conference 


Free Webinar Series:

Rural Health Clinic Billing 101




Please join us for a webinar on rural health clinic billing presented October 1, 2013 at 2:30 EDT and 1:30 CDT. This webinar is the second of three being offered as follow up to the joint Alabama-Georgia Rural Health Clinic Conference. All are invited to participate - this webinar is for everyone, regardless of whether or not you attended the joint rural health clinic conference. There is no cost for participation. 


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Free GRHA archived webinars are available for viewing:

2013 County Health Rankings


Funding And Opportunties

September Health Observances

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.

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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 Speaker

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

Desoto Hilton, Savannah
October 21-23

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Free Webinar

"Patient Centered Medical Home: The Basics and How it Works" 

WebinarDate: Monday, September 30, 2013

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)

Sponsor:  Georgia Rural Health Association 

Presenter: Harry Strothers, III, MD, MMM 
Session Description: The Patient Centered Medical Home is a team based healthcare delivery approach to providing care and maximizing health outcomes. With goals of raising patient satisfaction, improving overall health, and increasing access to health care, the PCMH model is growing in popularity throughout the country.

This webinar will cover the basics of a PCMH and how it works. Additionally, information will be provided on utilizing health information technology and a trained staff to provide coordinated care through team based models, which is a critical aspect of PCMH. logo
Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace which starts October 1st!


CMS Rule Change


CMS 1443P, "Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System for Federally Qualified Health Centers; Changes to Contracting Policies for Rural Health Clinics; and Changes to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 Enforcement Actions for Proficiency Testing Referral", just went on display!  CMS will accept comments on the

proposed rule until November 18, 2013.  Here are the links to the Fact Sheet (FS), Press Release (PR), and the Federal Register (OFR) page:







A geographic sore spot for exchange premiums 

By: Andy Miller
Published: Sep 26, 2013

The Obama administration is touting the competitiveness of the new insurance exchanges as an attractive feature of the Affordable Care Act.


About 95 percent of American consumers will have a choice of two or more health insurance issuers, and often many more, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday in announcing premiums for federally run insurance exchanges in 36 states, including Georgia.


But in two regions of southwest Georgia, there's only one insurer offering coverage -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. And the premiums in that corner of the state are much higher than in the rest of Georgia.


Federal Medicare report unnerves rural hospitals

By MAGGIE LEE- [email protected]
Published: September 22, 2013 

ATLANTA -- Small hospitals in parts of rural Georgia benefit from higher Medicare payments on the grounds that they are a lifeline for otherwise isolated patients. A new federal report recommends a cost-cutting reconsideration of that program, but rural hospitals say it's a lifeline worth funding.


Medicare pays 101 percent of reasonable costs to Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth, Peach Regional Medical Center in Fort Valley and Sylvan Grove Hospital in Jackson. That's because they are certified Critical Access Hospitals, so deemed because they are distant from other hospitals and serve rural populations.

O'Connor: When a hospital dies, do you send a sympathy card?

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 10:07 am, Tue Sep 24, 2013.

Beth O'Connor


On Oct. 1, Lee Regional Medical Center in Pennington Gap, Va. will close. It is dead. The jobs that were associated with that facility will die; the money it pumped into the local economy will die.

The major reason listed by the Wellmont Health System for the cause of death is the lack of Medicaid expansion which is intended to offset major cuts in Medicare payments from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

ACA or "Obamacare" is a compromise. Some people wanted the United States government to create a universal health care system, such as those found in other first-world nations. Other people thought a single-payer system would go too far; it would overreach the responsibility of the government. So a deal was struck: hospitals would agree to lower Medicare payments and in return, more of their patients would have insurance.


Office of Rural Health Policy Funding Opportunity Announcement: Rural Health Network Development Program (HRSA-14-044)


The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2014 Rural Health Network Development Grant Program (announcement number: HRSA-14-044). ORHP's Network Development Program supports rural integrated health care networks that have combined the functions of the entities participating in the network in order to: achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole.


The application can be downloaded off of and entering in the announcement number (HRSA-14-044) or by clicking on this link: 


Mark Your Calendar

Georgia Association for Primary Health Care

2013 Annual Conference

October 2-4

Augusta, Georgia 

Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center



National Rural Health Association

Rural Health Clinic ConferenceOct. 1-2, and 

Critical Access Hospital ConferenceOct. 2-4

Austin, Texas

More Information



Healthy Mothers Health Babies of Georgia

Annual Meeting and Conference

October 8, 2013

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Gwinnett Center, Duluth, GA



American College of Physicians, Georgia Chapter

Scientific Meeting

October 4-6

Hyatt Regency

Savannah, Georgia

More Information



2013 Georgia Chapter Scientific Meeting

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

Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals

30th Annual Conference

October 15-18, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation

Lake Oconee Trail

Greensboro, Georgia  30642


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