The Georgia Ortho - PACThe Political Action Committee of the Georgia Orthopaedic Society
The Georgia Orthopaedic Society Political Action Committee is a registered State of Georgia PAC and can accept corporate and personal contributions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our state lobbyist Don Bolia at email@example.com or on his cell phone at 404-314-4844.
The “Georgia Ortho-PAC”, is the Political Action Arm of the Georgia Orthopaedic Society. It is your voice, your strength, your access to the State Capitol. All funds collected are used to support state candidates seeking state or administrative office.
• To financially support state candidates for public office who understand medical issues and are aligned with the legislative positions of the Georgia Orthopaedic Society
• To educate state candidates who are running for political office on issues affecting physicians in Georgia
• Assist and encourage orthopaedic surgeons to individually participate in campaign efforts and establish a relationship with local elected officials
• Assist and encourage orthopaedic surgeons to understand the nature of the legislative and political process
• Encourage and support medical doctors to run for state office
One goal of the Georgia Ortho-PAC is to create opportunities for GOS members to interact with their legislators and elected officials. When contributions are presented, we work to arrange a direct presentation between our members and the candidate or elected official. This allows our members the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with them and to let them know that physicians remain dedicated to the preservation and advancement of quality patient care in Georgia.
The 2021 legislative session was a successful one for doctors. The following bills were passed benefiting the medical community:
HB 112 – (Representative Trey Kelley) Physicians were protected from COVID liability in the 2020 legislative session. This year we were able to extend these protections for one year until July 14, 2022.
HB 234 – (Representative Lee Hawkins) In 2020, the legislature passed the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act to protect patients from surprise bills and to protect physicians from payment denial. This bill allows self-funded plans to opt into this Act.
HB 454 – (Representative Mark Newton) This bill deals with the continuity of care issue that has long been an issue with multiple insurance plans. The bill provides that a plan must provide coverage for 180 days if a patient’s provider becomes out-of-network during a plan year.
SB 80 – (Senator Kay Kirkpatrick) This bill deals with the burdensome prior authorization process. The bill does a number of things to assist – (1) Requires insurers and PBMs to be transparent with providers and patients about changes in their prior authorization process. (2) Allows for a physician in the same specialty to negotiate in the process. (3) Requires insurers to respond to requests within 15 calendar days until January 1, 2023; within 7 days after January 1, 2023 and within 72 hours for urgent care.
SB 307 – (Representative Sharon Cooper) This bill cements into law Governor Kemp’s executive order stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill authorizes healthcare providers to provide telemedicine services from home as well as authorizes patients to receive these services from their home, workplace or school. The bill allows for audio-only care when under certain circumstances. Additionally, it prohibits insurers from requiring an in-person consultation before receiving telemedicine services.
With such a successful Legislative Session in 2021 we have momentum. There are more issues that we will be facing in 2022 including additional insurance reform, protecting scope of practice for patient safety and making changes to tort reform laws to improve the physician climate in Georgia.
Your contributions to the GOS PAC are leveraged to make sure that member physicians have a true voice in government. It allows GOS to provide non-partisan support to key policy makers that are vital to making decisions on how your practice is governed and allowed to operate.
In 2020, 90% of the candidates that GOS – PAC supported won their elections.
This is a significant number in an election year where there was a near 20% turnover in the General Assembly. Additionally, a number of the candidates we chose to support have ended up in higher leadership roles. We have been working to recruit doctors to run for office and give us representation in the body – we now have five doctors and hope to continue to build on that number. Having medical experts in the assembly gives doctors an opportunity to directly communicate with their peers.
As listed above, you can see that we have had a number of wins at the state capitol in the last couple years. Much of this success can be attributed to our GOS – PAC activity and the relationships generated.
The GOS PAC handles these donations with the highest moral and ethical standards. Policy makers are vetted by the Board of Directors and our members are directly involved in the distribution of the contributions to key elected officials. This ensures that your hard-earned dollars have the maximum impact. We hope you will consider making a contribution to the PAC today. It is vital to our cause and vital to the continued success the Society has experienced in the public policy arena.
If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to your board members and feel free to contact our lobbyist, Don Bolia at 404-314-4844.