Georgia: State Considering Options to Care for the Uninsured

Governor Nathan Deal (R) stated that Georgia stakeholders led by large public hospital Grady Memorial are “explor[ing] the possibilities of covering people who are now uninsured” through an 1115 waiver, which would allow the state “flexibility [to] provide greater coverage and more coverage.” Grady is working with other Georgia hospitals and healthcare facilities to develop a demonstration project that would provide funds to rural and safety-net hospitals for the delivery of intensive care management services to improve patient outcomes and decrease emergency department utilization. The governor and Legislature remain opposed to Medicaid expansion, but Governor Deal recently signed the State’s FY 2016 budget, which: authorizes the Department of Community Health to pursue an 1115 waiver; and, recommends that a task force of legislators, providers and State officials submit a plan to the General Assembly by August 1 outlining how to support safety-net hospitals’ provision of care to the uninsured in light of impending reductions in federal support for Medicaid Disproportionate Share payments.