Georgia Chamber Supports Developing Rural Health Care

Atlanta, GA –May, 4, 2018 – On Wednesday, Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 769, during a ceremony in Tifton, Georgia. House Bill 769 seeks to provide solutions to revitalize and repopulate Georgia’s most rural communities through the implementation of healthcare recommendations provided by the House Rural Development Council and allocation of funding for the creation of a Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability.
Georgia Chamber President & CEO, Chris Clark provided his insight, “As rural Georgians are among those who are more likely to be uninsured and lack access to healthcare, reforming the system to provide solutions that improve health outcomes and access will remain an ongoing priority for the Georgia Chamber. As an advocate for rural prosperity, we support effective measures that provide the best possible health access using new and existing resources. The Chamber commends the leadership of Representative Rick Jasperse, the House Rural Development Council, and members of the General Assembly in their efforts to improve access to quality healthcare in Georgia.”
The newest healthcare initiative creates avenues for the development of an incentive program that aims to increase the number of healthcare providers in rural communities. The Rural Health System Innovation Center included in the legislation will serve as a research hub to identify challenges and offer policy recommendations for affordable and accessible healthcare practices. House Bill 769 allows for the purchase of failing or closed hospitals in adjoining counties with less than 50,000 residents to be established as micro-hospitals in rural areas that provide 24-hour emergency services 7 days a week. The legislation permits the authorization of prescriptions and refills from remote pharmacists who are licensed to practice in the state. Rural hospitals will be equipped with telepharmacy technology to provide 24-hour, in-house services in the event that a pharmacist is not onsite.

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