Health task force to meet here
The legislative committee will hear today from local, state and national experts on ways to reform primary and mental health care.
The Georgia Health Care Reform Task Force will hold its final meeting today at Berry College, with a main focus on primary and preventative care.
“The other areas of focus are on mental health and integrating mental health care in with primary care,” said Sen. Chuck Hufstetler.
Hufstetler is one of the seven state senators appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to come up with a sustainable model for the state’s system in light of changes at the federal level. They’ve been meeting around the state since this summer and a final report is expected before the end of the year.
Hufstetler said the report would include recommended legislation for the Georgia General Assembly session that starts in January.
“We believe that the biggest savings and the most improvement in health will be focusing on preventative health care — instead of treating symptoms and disease after the fact — and we’ll be hearing about innovative ways to do that,” Hufstetler said.
The session starts at 10 a.m. in the Spruill Ballroom of the Krannert Center Sen. Chuck Hufstetler at the college off Martha Berry Highway. It’s slated to last into the afternoon and is open to the public.
Cagle will be on hand to give introductory remarks following an invocation by Hufstetler and a welcoming address by Berry President Stephen Briggs.
Representatives from Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center and Harbin Clinic top the agenda with an in-depth look at the situation in Rome.
Presentations also are scheduled from a wide range of organizations regarding the level of care needed to improve the overall health of Georgians, the challenges faced by physicians and nurses, and workforce development.
“With the chairman of
the American Medical Association (Dr. Gerald Harmon) being a primary care physician this year, we are excited to have him here as well as the many other state and national experts,” Hufstetler said.
Among the others on
the lengthy list of speakers are Tom Andrews, president of Mercy Care; Lucy Marion, dean of Augusta University College of Nursing; Monty Veazey, president of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals; and Dr. Scott Bohlke, president of the Medical Association of Georgia.
Hufstetler said the legislative task force also hopes to hear of viable
ways to address opioid abuse and addiction with monitoring and treatment. Funding, he said, is key. “We’ll also be proposing waivers with the federal government to help bring better mental health, drug treatment and preventative care treatment to the uninsured and under-insured population of Georgia,” Hufstetler said.