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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

This week Womens Telehealth CEO, Tanya Mack hosts Dr. Meg Prado to talk about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.  With the continued rise in rates of prescription medications, coupled with high incidence of illicit drug use, it is becoming all-too-common for babies to be born who are addicted to prescription and/or illicit drugs.

Dr. Prado joined us to talk about the scope of this problem, along with what clinicians who care for pregnant mothers and/or newborn infants need to look out for to identify these babies as soon as possible to be able to adequately care for them.


Rep Sharon Cooper Talks HB 416

Sharon Cooper

Georgia State Representative, Dist. 43, Sharon Cooper

House HHS chair addresses flawed eye care bills on ‘Top Docs’ show 

Georgia Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) – the chair of the Georgia House of Representatives Health and Human Services Committee – discussed several bills that she believes would place thousands of Georgians at risk of blindness and other serious eye complications when she appeared on a special edition of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network on February 23. Click here to listen to a recording of the show.

Rep. Cooper addressed her concerns surrounding H.B. 416 and S.B. 221, measures that would allow optometrists to perform a variety of extraocular injections.

MAG President Steven M. Walsh, M.D., shares Rep. Cooper’s concerns, stressing that, “MAG is opposing these measures because they would inappropriately expand optometrists’ scope of practice and they would undermine patient care.”

Rep. Cooper also notes that, “Medicine is effectively under attack these days, so it is imperative for doctors to get involved in the legislative process.”

She is encouraging physicians and patients to (to what action…contact who?) to encourage lawmakers to oppose H.B. 416 and S.B. 221.

Rep. Cooper has sponsored key legislation that has been enacted in Georgia, including an HIV screening bill for pregnant women, the Georgia’s Smoke Free Air Act, and the Health Share Volunteers in Medicine Act.

MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG’s ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 9,000 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries.

MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions.

Contact MAG Government Relations Director Derek Norton at or 404.274.4210 with questions related to H.B. 416 and S.B. 221.

Surprise Insurance Coverage Gaps


Dr. Matt Keady and Dr. Mark Bernardy

Surprise Insurance Coverage Gaps

After receiving emergency care at an “in-network” hospital, patients often discover that they
received care from an “out-of- network” physician and owe a lot of money. This is the “surprise
insurance coverage gap.” The patient pays their monthly premium, yet they receive unexpected
“balance bills” for amounts their insurance company refuses to cover – keeping in mind the
insurers are narrowing their networks to reduce costs and maximize profits by subjecting
physicians to inadequate, take-it- or-leave- it contracts.

Physicians in Georgia believe that it is critical to end the surprise insurance gap in emergency
medicine care settings. Physicians have seen their patients’ financial burden increase in dramatic
ways as health insurance companies have narrowed their networks. Health insurance is so
ambiguous that the most sophisticated patients have trouble understanding the rules.

Many patients try to do the right thing and go to a hospital that is in their insurance network during an
emergency – but they often don’t have any way of knowing when a doctor they need to see is in or
out of their network.  The Medical Association Georgia and other physician and patient advocacy organizations are calling for state lawmakers to put an end to balance billing in emergency care settings by passing legislation that will close the surprise coverage gap. MAG is also supporting the ‘End the Surprise Insurance Gap’ campaign.

Dr. Matthew Keadey has been an emergency physician in the Atlanta area for nearly 20 years. He
began his career at Emory Healthcare. He now works in the Emory and Grady Health systems. He
is the president-elect of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians, and he is a member of the
Medical Association of Georgia. Dr. Keadey is an expert in emergency department billing, coding
and reimbursement.

Dr. Mark Bernardy has been a private practice general/interventional radiologist in Georgia for 30
years. He is a member of the Georgia Radiological Society’s Board of Directors. Dr. Bernardy is
the vice chair of the American College of Radiology’s Economics Commission and a board
member of the Radiology Business Management Association. He is active in Georgia politics,
advocating for radiologists, physicians, and patients. His advocacy efforts started with colon
cancer screening.

Drs. Keadey and Bernardy are leading advocates for ensuring that patients have access to fair
insurance coverage in emergency care settings in Georgia.