Georgia ranks last in study of health care access, regulation

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FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. A major survey out Jan. 7, 2016, finds that progress has stalled on reducing the number of uninsured Americans under President Barack Obama’s health care law. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

With health care poised to become a big topic in the 2017 legislative session that begins next month, a new report out this week is particularly timely. Spoiler alert: Georgia fares poorly.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, which bills itself as a center for market-oriented ideas, conducted a nationwide study  to explore

“state-by-state measures of the flexibility and discretion that patients and providers have in managing health and health care. In other words, how open are each state’s laws and regulations to institutional variation in the delivery of care, and how much access to varying modes of care does this confer on the state’s patients and providers?”

The study ranked Georgia 51st, or dead last thanks to a variety of factors. There’s something for everyone here. Doctors and others wanting to make it harder to sue for malpractice will see Georgia ranks below the national average in malpractice insurance premiums and how often in-state doctors pay for malpractice awards.

Those wanting to ease the state’s certificate-of-need program for licensing new programs, too, will be happy to see the state ranks poorly in those areas as well.

From taxation, medical marijuana, access to telemedicine and more, organizations and their lobbyists interested in changing Georgia health care law will find plenty to like.

See the full report here.



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