By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Improving healthcare for all Georgians
burns jon 2015
Rep. Jon Burns


As I have shared with you over the past couple of weeks, Georgia laws generally go into effect on July 1 of the year they pass the legislature unless the bill specifically states another day for the bill to become law. One of the House Republican Caucus’s top priorities is to increase Georgians’ access to healthcare and improve healthcare quality. 

The following bills went into effect on July 1  and will directly impact the quality of healthcare offered in Georgia.

House Bill 363, sponsored by Representative John LaHood, clarifies existing laws regarding elder abuse, ensuring that individuals who abuse the elderly in our state will face the justice they deserve.

House Bill 454, sponsored by Representative Mark Newton, requires insurers to treat a provider as “in-network” for 180 days after a provider’s contract terminates or until the last day of the insured person’s coverage, whichever is sooner. This requirement is only in place if the provider was included as an “in-network” provider when the insured person purchased coverage.

During a public health emergency and for 150 days after the expiration of the public health emergency, the bill prohibits an insurer from terminating a provider from the insurer’s network and requires in-network reimbursement rates to be maintained.

House Bill 128 creates “Gracie’s Law,” sponsored by Representative Rick Williams. Gracie’s Law will prohibit Georgia healthcare providers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities when making organ transplant determinations. 

House Bill 316, sponsored by Chairman Ron Stephens, increases the number of pharmacy technicians that a pharmacist can supervise directly. This expansion will allow pharmacists to better serve Georgians with prompt, cost-efficient services.

Senate Bill 4, sponsored in the House by Representative Bert Reeves, prohibits payments to those who refer patients to substance abuse treatment facilities or providers. 

This bill ensures that patients are receiving referrals or guidance based on the best judgment of their provider.

House Bill 567, sponsored by Chairman Katie Dempsey, authorizes the Department of Public Health to create rules and regulations that establish a newborn screening system.

This screening system will be dedicated to preventing serious illness, severe physical or developmental disability, and death caused by inherited metabolic and genetic disorders.

If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.

Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.