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GRHA Newsletter  Week of December 20, 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  Individual Member!
Tracey Grace of
IT Business Experts 

GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 







Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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Free GRHA archived webinars are available for viewing:

Rural Health Workforce and the Challenges Ahead

Patient Centered Medical Home: The Basics and How it Works

2013 County Health Rankings


Funding And Opportunties

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.

There is still time to register!
GRHA Annual Conference
January 13 - 15, 2014
Please join GRHA 
in Savannah!


Keynote Speaker
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
January 13-15
$140 room rate ends December 30th
Use the conference code HRG when making hotel reservation

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ICD-10 Bootcamp
Sign up today!

January 7-8, 2014
Archbold Memorial Hospital
915 Gordon Ave., Thomasville, GA
Williams Auditorium 


Learn more



The ICD-10 Deadline is October 1, 2014


The compliance deadline for ICD-10 is October 1, 2014. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner has affirmed the ICD-10 deadline and encourages providers, payers, and vendors across the health care industry to prepare to use the new codes for services provided on or after October 1, 2014.  

State firs back at critical public health report  

By Andy Miller
Published: Dec 17, 2013

A report released Tuesday ranks Georgia at the bottom of states on protecting against infectious disease threats.


The report by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that three states - Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey - met just two of 10 key indicators on infectious disease outbreaks.


The top scoring states, including North Carolina, scored seven of 10 indicators. The benchmarks included vaccination rates, public health lab preparedness, funding for public health, and reporting of infections acquired in hospitals.


But Georgia public health officials, responding to the report, said Tuesday that some of the indicators are misleading or erroneous. The authors of the report did not contact the state Department of Public Health to verify their findings, said Dr. Patrick O'Neal, director of health protection for the agency.


"I can tell you that one of the best public health systems in the country is in Georgia,'' O'Neal said.

SGR Repeal Bill Holds Extra Promise for Rural Hospitals

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media
December 18, 2013

A raft of amendments to the Senate version of the bill to repeal the SGR should make life a lot easier for rural hospitals, says a National Rural Health Association official.


The move in Congress to repeal the much loathed sustainable growth rate funding formula for physicians got most of the attention from the healthcare sector in the past few weeks. That's understandable, especially when we remember that physicians were staring at a 24% cut in Medicare reimbursements on Jan. 1 if the SGR had actually kicked in.


Now it appears that rural healthcare advocates have more to cheer about.


Read more

Taking care: Small rural hospitals face uncertain future under Affordable Care Act
The Steuben Courier Advocate 
By Cristina Janney 
Posted Dec. 11, 2013 @ 3:25 pm
Dec 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM 
The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has already set off significant change and uproar around individual insurance plans. As the ACA settles into place in 2014, more change and concerns are coming to small rural hospitals.
Under the ACA, small rural hospitals will see significant reductions in traditional Medicare payments, and some will see new payment requirements for patient care. Rural hospitals rely on Medicare payments - which primarily cover older people - for almost 45 percent of their annual income.
The changes in how Medicare money reaches rural hospitals - and all hospitals around the country - are an attempt by federal lawmakers to improve health care and reduce costs.
Among the goals is to measure and reward quality of care, and reduce expensive uninsured visits to hospital emergency rooms. By having more people covered by insurance, the theory goes, there will be higher numbers of paying patients and less unpaid debt.

Read more 

The Rural Lens photo contest has been established as an effort to capture rural health across the nation through photographs. Enter to have your image featured in Rural Roads magazine and future National Rural Health Association and Rural Assistance Center publications and sites. 


Submit your photos today until Jan. 6. 

Mark Your Calendar


Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

2014 Policy Conference

January 8, 2014

Loudermilk Center, Atlanta, GA

Learn more and Register


Georgians for a Healthy Future

Health Care Unscrambled 

A look ahead to the 2014 Legislative Session

Learn more and Register


Georgia Breast Cancer Genomic Health Consortium

Conference - The First Line of Defense: Application of Breast Cancer Genomic Standards in Primary Care

February 21, 2014

Callaway Gardens Lodge and Spa

Learn more


Georgia Partnership for Telehealth

5th Annual Spring Conference

March 19-22, 2014

Omni Hotel at CNN Center

100 CNN Center

Atlanta, GA 30303


Event & Sponsorship Registration will open SOON...

Matt Caseman