Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a mental health bill that signals a "transformational commitment to improving mental health care," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Florida, and Georgia.
- California: Rep. Adam Schiff (D) on Tuesday announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. In a Twitter post, the lawmaker wrote he was "feeling fine and grateful to be vaccinated and boosted. In the coming days, I will quarantine and follow CDC guidelines. And remember, please get vaccinated!" Schiff joins a growing list of U.S. officials who have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks as the omicron subvariant BA.2 has brought on an additional wave of infections. (Allassan, Axios, 4/5)
- Florida: HCA Healthcare on Tuesday announced that George Makhoul was named COO of HCA Florida St. Petersburg Hospital, effective April 4. Makhoul will also serve as an ethics and compliance officer for the hospital. He previously served as VP of operations for HCA Florida Brandon Hospital. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/5)
- Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Monday signed a bill aimed at improving the state's mental health care infrastructure by encouraging private insurers to expand coverage for mental health conditions. The bill, known as HB 1013, requires publicly funded insurance programs to increase spending on patient care and grants student loan forgiveness to individuals studying to become mental health professionals. In addition, the new law intends to enforce federal requirements that require private insurers to provide the same level of benefits for mental health conditions as they do for physical illnesses. "Georgia is making a transformational commitment to improving mental health care," said Republican House Speaker David Ralston, who championed the bill. (Thanawala, Associated Press, 4/4)