138th Edition

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138th EditionJuly 28, 2022

Government Affairs

Capitol HIll Visits

Last week, Dr. Bryce Gartland, Hospital Group President and Co-Chief of Clinical Operations for Emory Healthcare, met with nine members of the Georgia congressional delegation to provide a healthcare industry update, advocate for federal support of the GA STRONG program (details below), and encourage leadership in bringing ARPA-H to Georgia. Dr. Gartland also had the opportunity to meet with key staffers for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee to discuss hospital financing and preparation for the next pandemic.

Pictured above is Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Dr. Bryce Gartland.

State Gives Final Approval for GA-STRONG

Last month, the Department of Community Health Board unanimously approved the final adoption for the Strengthening the Reinvestment of a Necessary-workforce in Georgia (GA-STRONG) Directed Payment Program. GA-STRONG is designed to address Georgia’s healthcare workforce shortage, exacerbated by the pandemic, through increased funding for hospitals on the front lines of workforce development. The 21 teaching hospital participants will receive direct payments. These payments will allow these institutions to build on and expand innovative programs specific to their communities - leading to stabilization, development, and diversification of the healthcare workforce. The GA-STRONG preprint has been submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for federal approval. 

Tyler Eck - Governor Kemp Staff Visit

On July 15, Tyler J. Eck, Senate Legislative Liaison and Policy Advisor to Governor Brian Kemp, toured Emory’s campus and met with several faculty members. During the meetings, Emory leaders shared information on our innovative programs, financial aid opportunities, upcoming Career Pathways programs and the future of AI. President Fenves met Tyler during the tour and shared more about his role at the university. The State Affairs team looks forward to continuing our work with the administration on behalf of Emory’s students, faculty, staff and community.

Pictured above from left to right are Jenna Colvin (GICA), Tyler Eck and President Fenves.

Georgia Rare Disease Council Appointment 

On July 16, Emory Healthcare was notified that Sarah Penna, LCSW, ACM-SW, Social Worker at the Emory ALS Clinic, was appointed by Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan to serve on the Georgia Rare Disease Advisory Council. House Bill 918, sponsored by Rep. Mike Cheokas (R – Americus), created the 16-member Georgia Rare Disease Advisory Council. The council will hold meetings, consider input from experts and key stakeholders and advise on the needs of those with rare diseases. HB 918 defines a rare disease as, “A rare disease, sometimes called an orphan disease, is defined as a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.” 

State Study Committees (Workforce Commission & Senate Study Committee) 

On July 20, the Georgia Healthcare Workforce Commission held its introductory meeting and outlined its goal to determine solutions to Georgia’s healthcare workforce shortage. On July 26, the Senate Study Committee on People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Waiver Plan Access met for the first time. Co-chaired by Senator Sally Harrell and Senator John Albers, this Committee will look into the waitlist for Home and Community Based Services and other 1915(c) waiver programs as well as state contracts with Care Management Organizations. Emory’s state affairs team will continue to monitor these committees and offer assistance when applicable. 


On July 27, the U.S. Senate passed the slimmed down Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors, or CHIPS, legislation with a bipartisan vote of 64-33.  We expect the House to move on this quickly. President Biden has indicated his intention to sign the legislation into law. While this version is smaller than what we had hoped for, Emory is pleased that increased research funding made it into the final passage while potentially harmful provisions were omitted from the final package. The package, considered for almost two years, includes $52 billion initial funding for semiconductor manufacturing subsidies, tax credits for continued semiconductor production, and funding for research at the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. For more information on the legislation, you may refer to this summary and its corresponding fact sheets. For a section-by-section look at the legislation, please click here.

FY2023 Appropriations

The U.S. House of Representatives has been working to move the federal FY23 appropriations bills. Last week, the House passed a “minibus” that includes funding for multiple federal agencies, including the FDA. We had hoped there would be a deal on the Labor, Health, and Human Services bill, but that has been pushed to September. Even if the House moves on all of its packages, the Senate is still far behind their counterparts. We do expect Congress to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) by the September 30 deadline, but will continue to advocate for a full appropriations process that includes multiple Emory priorities. 

Inflation Reduction Act

After months of negotiation, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) have reached a deal on the reconciliation package, previously known as “Build Back Better.” This legislation makes investments in domestic energy production, reduces carbon emissions, and extends the Affordable Care Act subsidies. Part of the payfors includes allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs. The federal team is closely watching this as they attempt to move the legislation through the Senate. For more information please click here.

Telehealth Package Advances on Capitol Hill

On July 27, by an overwhelming majority vote, a telehealth flexibility package passed the U. S. House. The bill allows Medicare, federally qualified health centers, and rural health clinics to continue covering telehealth visits from patients’ homes, as well as audio-only telehealth under Medicare. The measure would also extend a waiver permitting mental health patients to avoid in-person visits. This legislation extends the flexibilities through the end of 2024. Without this or similar legislation, telehealth flexibility will end five months post public health emergency expiration. The path in the Senate is unclear, but the OGCA team will continue to push for this to be included in an end of year package.

Community Affairs

Atlanta City Hall

President Fenves made a recent visit to Atlanta City Hall where he met with several members of the Atlanta City Council, including Alex Wan (pictured below), whose council district includes Emory’s Druid Hills campus; Matt Westmoreland; Dustin Hillis and Council President Doug Shipman.

City of Stonecrest

On July 23, the OGCA team and Emory Hillandale Hospital (EHH) partnered with the City of Stonecrest for its Back to School Park Pop-Up event at the Southeast Athletic Complex in Stonecrest, GA. These Park Pop Ups provide an opportunity for city staff and elected officials to engage with the community and its community partners. EHH provided the residents of Stonecrest with healthcare information and blood pressure screenings. OGCA looks forward to continuing this partnership with EHH and the City of Stonecrest. 

Pictured above are representatives from Emory Hillandale Hospital, the Emory All of Us Research Program, and Stonecrest City Councilman Rob Turner (center).

Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative (CCTI)--Resident Input Requested

This month, MARTA hosted a series of four public meetings to inform and gather input from the community on the proposed high-capacity transit project that would connect Emory, the CDC and other organizations, businesses and residents in the Clifton Corridor to the Lindbergh MARTA station. This project has been an Emory priority for many years, and it is very important for MARTA to hear from our community. Please help us by taking the brief survey found at https://connectclifton.com, which also provides details about the project. Recordings of the meetings can be found on their community outreach page; please read information about the project before taking the survey.

Upcoming: Watch out for a story in Emory Report next month…Preparing for election season: What you need to know about Emory, advocacy and lobbying.


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