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Changes for health care
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The following bills concerning health care issues were passed in the 2007 session of the General Assembly:

• SB 42: Authorizes the Department of Human Resources to collect fees for child support collection.

• SB 60: Establishes a trauma care commission. The commission will develop a plan to ensure that every Georgian has access to trauma care as needed.

• SB 61: Requires a child-placing agency to submit to a criminal history records check.

• SB 148: Creates the newborn umbilical cord blood bank for postnatal tissue and fluid, which can be used in nondestructive stem cell research.

• HB 155: Requires background checks for owners of personal care facilities.

• HB 429: Creates the “Georgia HIV Pregnancy Screening Act of 2007,” which requires family planning clinics be given the opportunity to provide an HIV test to pregnant women, unless the patient refuses.

• HB 497: Allows fathers to execute a pre-birth surrender of rights to ease adoption proceedings.

• HB 549: Increases the minimum number of therapy services reimbursable by Medicaid.

• SR 363: Creates the Mental Health Joint Commission that will evaluate Georgia’s mental health service delivery system.

Health care budget funding in the FY2008 state budget

• PeachCare is funded at the 2007 level

• Creates Medicaid buy-in program for the disabled

• Funds Mercer Medical School Expansion to Savannah to increase the number of physicians

• Increases pay package for pubic health nurses to 85 percent of market

• $7 million for pandemic flu vaccine

• $1 million for Statewide Health Information Network

• Start-up funds for new community health centers

• $250,000 each for the six regional cancer centers  — tobacco funds

• $700,000 operating grant increase to Morehouse Medical School

• Statewide computer network connecting child advocacy centers

• $15.5 million for indigent care for privately owned hospitals (in FY07 amended)

• $1.35 million for a Rural Health Care Initiative

• $500,000 additional funds for Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)

• $750,000 for statewide electronic information network connecting community health centers

• $150,000 for diabetes awareness campaign

• $450,000 in new permanent funding for hemophilia patients

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for 15 new counties

• Increases initial and annual clothing allowances for foster children

• Begin assessment center funding for child victims of prostitution

• Funds 610 new unduplicated recipients for elderly at-home services through Medicaid

• Funds 1,546 new unduplicated recipients for at-home services for developmentally disabled.

• Increases funding by $1.5 million for vaccines for underinsured children

• $150,000 increased funding for Suicide Prevention Program

• Increases funds for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program

• Transfers $750,000 in tobacco funds to the Georgia Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell facility at the Medical College of Georgia

• Increases optometry student funding for five additional students

• Funds $10 million in life sciences vaccine research through the Georgia Research Alliance

•  $5 million for planning for the new Charlie Norwood Dental School Building

The governor has not signed the FY2008 Budget (HB 95)

Next week: Georgia’s April revenue report and a legislative review of higher education
Visit the Legislature’s home page at
To view the FY2008 budget in its  - Tab - Budget Reports

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