Tuesday, 02 July 2019 11:49

New Laws for Georgia

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July 1st, 2019 a new fiscal year for the State of Georgia  this means several new laws will be going into effect.
  • Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The law allows doctors who have a clean disciplinary record to be eligible for an expedited licensure process. States entered into the Compact can share information with each other regarding the doctor’s disciplinary record and background check information.
  • Senate Bill 18 allows physicians to provide health care to a patient through a direct primary care agreement without being subject to insurance regulations. A direct primary care agreement allows a patient to directly contract with a doctor, without insurance. For example, you might pay a doctor a set amount for unlimited visits a month. This is generally used for primary care visits and would not be used for emergency visits.
  • Senate Bill 184 requires state employee health insurance plans to pay for services provided by federally qualified health centers at the same rates as Medicare
  • House Bill 39 enters Georgia into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact to facilitate the licensure of physical therapists who are members of one of the 21 compact member states. HB HB 39 also allows the State Board of Physical Therapy to conduct a background check on those applying for a license.
  • House Bill 62 requires health care facilities that conduct mammograms to notify the patient when their results show dense breast tissue. Additionally, HB 62 requires the mammogram results summary to include information regarding next steps and the reason for notification.
  • House Bill 217 exempts syringe services programs from civil and criminal liability for possession, distribution and exchange of hypodermic syringes and needles, regardless of knowledge of its drug-related use.
  • House Bill 228 raises the minimum age for marriage to 17 years and limits the age difference to four years when a minor is involved.
  • The FY 2020 budget, House Bill 31, will take effect on July 1st. There are several budget items that are relevant to our district, including funds for the Port of Savannah, Savannah State, Georgia Southern, Savannah Technical College and the Savannah Logistics and Technology Corridor, which runs along 1-95.  The budget items that has brought big attention is $3,000 salary increase for certified teachers and school personnel including counselors, social workers, psychologists, special education specialists and technology specialist.  The budget also addresses a 2% raise for assistant teachers, $1 million for additional high school counselors and programs for Title I schools, and an increase of 25 cents to $15.50 per month for each year of service for the benefit utilized by non-certified school employees such as school bus drivers.