HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of healthcare market intelligence, finds that Georgia healthcare officials are breathing a sigh of relief that the second and final launch of the Georgia Healthy Families managed Medicaid program has so far gone off without any major hitches. According to the latest Georgia, Alabama & Louisiana Health Plan Analysis report, enrollment was well over one million and going strong as those involved with the program recover from the initial launch three months earlier.

"With the first launch on June 1, beneficiaries were confused about where they were supposed to go for care," states Jan Shuxteau, HealthLeaders- InterStudy market analyst. "Health plans and providers signed contracts at the last minute, resulting in billing problems, delayed claims filing and hampered cash flow in clinics and hospitals."

However, for the second launch on September 1, 2006, the three Care Management Organizations -- WellCare of Georgia Inc., AMERIGROUP, and Centene's Peach State Health Plan -- steadfastly maintained this launch would be better, adding more staff and staff training. The health plans also relaxed compliance with prior authorization for 60 days rather than 30 days, allowing physicians time to get used to the new system.

One concern to come out of this second launch includes hospitals that are uneasy about time-consuming paperwork requirements laid on their already overworked staffs by the health plans. It is also too soon to tell if the lengthened grace periods on claims filing will pan out.

  Other health plan news in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana:    * Louisiana collaborative recommends the state's uninsured move into     "medical homes" rather than rely on the area's flawed charity system.    * The Georgia Blues committed $11.5 million to put telemedicine sites in     36 rural hospitals and four teaching hospitals; as of September 1, 77     specialists representing 40 specialties were serving 48 telemedicine     locations throughout the state.    About Health Plan Analysis 

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc., is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Kelly Morphy   HealthLeaders-InterStudy   615-369-4818 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,

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