Georgia's community, Not-for-Profit hospitals are the backbone of our state's health. Community hospitals are mission-driven organizations that exist to benefit their communities through the quality health care they provide and special services that are vitally important but not profitable to the institution.
These services provide care to our vulnerable Georgians through trauma care that assists us in a devastating medical emergency; neonatal intensive care units helping newborns in very critical moments of their early lives; and caring for those who cannot afford to pay. They are also equipping the future doctors with residency education programs for medical students.
- Access: Expand the delivery of quality healthcare available to all Georgians regardless of their ability to pay. Implement funding mechanisms that provide full reimbursement to providers of medical services to all populations. Ensure patient access to quality healthcare services by protecting the state's healthcare workforce and organizations from meritless and excessive legal claims.
- Community Benefits: Recognize the benefits of having community-based organizations that re-invest in their services and facilities in order to keep resources, jobs and quality healthcare in Georgia communities.
- Essential Services: Continue to provide tax exemptions that allow not-for-profit hospitals to provide essential but unprofitable services, such as emergency care, trauma, perinatal services and training new physicians. Create a sustainable, statewide trauma network that provides excellent care to victims of traumatic accidents. Increase funding for healthcare training, including funding for additional medical school and graduate medical education slots.
- Quality of Care: Continue to improve the quality of healthcare outcomes for patients, including the goal of eradicating medication errors and hospital infection rates while guarding against unnecessary and ineffective legislative and regulatory burdens.
- Workforce: Increase the supply of qualified healthcare providers practicing in the state of Georgia through increased medical education opportunities, thoughtful accreditation and practice standards, and expanding the use of physician extenders. Ensure that healthcare workers can perform their duties to the best of their ability by allowing them to use the most medically prudent practices and protecting their physical safety while at work. Continue to partner with the state on efforts to recruit new physicians to practice in Georgia particularly in provision of primary care and underserved specialties.
- Regulations: Allow Georgia's not-for-profit hospitals, health systems and hospital authorities to conduct business in the most prudent method possible by writing and amending laws in a manner that recognizes the operational and structural difference between hospitals and other governmental entities.
- Healthcare Planning: Support continued state health planning through the Certificate of Need Program. Support Georgia's traditional healthcare planning process to endeavor to prevent overutilization and inflationary cost increases. Develop health care facilities in a manner that enhances access to quality health care, prevents the unnecessary duplication of services and contains costs.
- Medicaid & Medicare: Improve reimbursement levels for all Medicaid & Medicare providers, including supplemental payments for uncompensated care from the Indigent Care Trust Fund. Redesign the state's Medicaid program in a manner that directs the most reimbursement to providers of medical services while lessening the administrative and regulatory burdens on those same providers. Avoid expanding the current Medicaid managed care program to new populations until significant improvements can be shown in the areas of coordinated care, contract enforcement and timeliness of claims payment. Implement a system of patient-centered, whole-person, coordinated care for Medicaid members that is driven and operated by providers, either on a regional or statewide basis and measured by quality outcomes for patients.
- Private Insurance: Increase the number of patients with private insurance through the creation of an insurance exchange that is tailored to best suit the needs of Georgia's citizens and healthcare providers.
- Taxes: Continue to support the improved Hospital Financing Program until an alternative source of funding Medicaid provider payments becomes available. Continue to educate policy makers on the benefits provided by not-for-profit hospitals in exchange for state and local tax exemptions. Encourage the continued strength and growth of the healthcare job market through tax policy that allows hospitals to expand services and provide tens of thousands of career opportunities. Implement tax policy that discourages unhealthy behavior, like the use of tobacco, rather than imposing financial hardships on healthcare providers.