Tech Ventures in Georgia Prosper As Health Care Law Kicks In

Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, chose not to expand Medicaid, despite the increased federal funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act. And Ralph Hudgens, the state’s insurance commissioner, publicly vowed to obstruct the law.

But that doesn’t mean that Georgia isn’t seeing some financial benefits from the law.

Take Premedex, a 2-year-old company that works with hospitals and doctors to keep hospital readmissions down. Founder and president Van Willis says that just a few years ago, a company like his would’ve been a hard sell. Impossible, even. But financial incentives for hospitals to reduce readmissions are getting a boost from the Affordable Care Act.

Scattered around a half-dozen office cubicles, Premedex employees put on telephone headsets on a recent morning and sit down in front of computers that automatically dial patients. After telling patients they are calling on behalf of doctors and hospitals, the workers ask some simple but important health questions: Have you had any fever? Are you in any pain?

Medicare to hospitals: Take your pick of carrot or stick.

C.S. Mott Women and Children's Hospital is part of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Health System, one of the organizations Medicare is penalizing for its high readmission rate.