Department of Community Health FY 12 Budget: On Thursday, 26 individuals signed up to provide comments to the House Appropriations Health Subcommittee on the 2012 DCH Budget. Voices provided testimony on the following issues: commending the Governor’s office and leaders within DCH for working to implement family-friendly enrollment and retention processes for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids while at the same time maximizing opportunities to receive federal funding; expressing concern over changes to the budget that may further restrict access to care for children by proposing a 1% provider reimbursement rate cut and also by implementing copays for children enrolled in PeachCare over age 6; and expressing concern over the proposed $2.9 million cut to the Children 1st Program.

Public Health: HB 214 (Rep. Mickey Channell, 116th District ) Rep. Channell introduced this bill to create a stand-alone Public Health Agency for the state. The bill was heard before the House Health and Human Services Committee earlier this week and received a Do Pass. One amendment was offered by Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, which also was passed, that was to move the Georgia Volunteer Health Care Program our from under Dept. of Community Health to the new Georgia Dept. of Public Health if and when that entity is created under law.

Medicaid Hearings and Appeals: HB 229 (Rep. Sharon Cooper, 41st District) The bill was heard on Wednesday afternoon by the House Judiciary Committee and received a Do Pass. Changes made to the bill before passage out of committee were to decrease from 30 to 10 the number of business days within which the Dept. of Community Health must send a copy of a request for hearing to the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

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