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House Bill 464 Seeks To Strengthen Patient Choice In Georgia

ATLANTA, Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), along with Rep. Jimmy Pruett (R-Eastman), Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) have introduced House Bill 464, legislation that would revise a law limiting patient choice and access in Georgia.

HB464 seeks to amend Chapter 6 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, legislation that was introduced in 2008 and unintentionally restricted patient choice and access for Georgia cancer patients. The bill is headed to the Government Affairs committee on Monday, February 27.

Speak Now Georgia, a coalition of cancer survivors, patients, their families, advocates and allies, has fought to help bring attention to the issue.

Gary Cargile, a cancer survivor and spokesperson for Speak Now Georgia, was one of the many Georgians who has been turned away because of the law. In fact, from July to October 2016 alone, more than 70 Georgians have been denied or delayed treatment.

"I would like to thank Rep. Willard and the co-signers of HB464 for bringing forth this legislation to strengthen patient choice in Georgia," said Cargile. "Please join me and many others who have bravely fought this disease, as well as our advocates and allies in Speak Now Georgia, by calling and emailing your legislator and telling them to support HB464."

The legislation introduced a five-year phased-in decrease of the percentage of out-of-state patients required to compose the patient base for destination cancer hospitals. HB464 will also eliminate the licensed bed capacity maximum for destination cancer hospitals in two years, and increase the required charity care of a destination cancer hospital for purposes of certificate of need for the next five years.

For more information visit www.speaknowgeorgia.org.


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