Taylor addresses challenges facing South Georgia, rural communities

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bainbridge Rotary heard from Darlene Taylor, of Thomasville, state representative for District 173, this week about efforts being made by special legislative committees to address some of the shortcomings of rural Georgia.

Realizing that rural Georgia was not as prosperous as the rest of the state, a special committee has been traveling around the state looking at what some of the reasons could be.

One of the key issues discovered was a lack of broadband Internet access in many rural areas. It is believed this discourages economic development as well has having negative affects on the educational system.

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Another area being explored is the Quick Start program that teaches new employees, especially in soft skills. Taylor stated that millenials can be difficult to work with as many really lack the soft skills of interaction with others and the basic education of how to balance a checkbook, read the stock market etc. She believes  this should be taught in schools. She quoted a favorite saying, “We need to teach the children so we don’t have to teach the adults.” But, a really major problem is the rate of failures in drug testing. She went on to speak on what a huge problem drug usage has become to the work force.

Taylor teaches a class to nurses about the importance of keeping up with the paper work and how to code and document correctly in order to be paid for services. She indicated this is a struggle for rural hospitals. She also stressed the importance of keeping the hospital doors open, as few companies will be interested in coming to a community without a hospital.

She promoted the Tele-Health system saying it is especially helpful in rural areas. She explained how there is even a tele-health available for use in the home. It connects to the personal computer and the results go back to the doctor.

However, it is very expensive and must have the availability of Internet connect.

Other healthcare issues are a big concern to the committee. They are studying what is termed “surprise billing.” It is where you get a bill six months after tests or treatment that comes from someone you never saw, such as those who read biopsies, etc. “We are looking at how we can get these people into the network, and insurance companies will also need to be involved, along with arbitrators to help the patients.

She believes the next issue to be addressed in healthcare is what she termed mandates.

Taylor says she thinks a special committee must look at what benefits should be included in an individual’s coverage.  will be working with insurance companies, promoting better health practices , special committees must look at what benefits should be included in order to help lower the cost of healthcare.

An issue Taylor believes will be on the agenda soon is addressing the epidemic of texting drivers. This is a severe distraction with severe consequences. Although there is already a law on the books, it is not strong enough according to Taylor.

In closing, and in answer to a question from the audience, she said she believes what it will take for people out in the country to get Internet service is for those companies to partner with other providers, such as electrical power companies.