Monday, April 03, 2006

2006 Summary of West Virginia Health Care Legislation

Tricia Herzfeld, an attorney in our firm, prepared the following summary of health care and medical related legislation passing the Senate and the House of Delegates in the 2006 Session and awaiting Governor Manchin's signature. Included are links to the final "enrolled" versions of the bills. If applicable, I have included the date the Governor approved the bill in ( ).

Senate Bill: SB 170 ( Approved by Governor 3/22/06)
Topic: Creating Health Information Network.
Summary: The purpose of the West Virginia Health Information Network is to create a databank of health information for public and private use of health care information. The network would be under the oversight of the Health Care Authority. The Network is designed to alert providers of drug interactions and allergies, provide preventative medicine alerts, allow electronic access to results of laboratory results, transfer medical information among providers (with patient consent), track patient history and prescriptions, and track public health statistics, among many other envisioned uses.

Senate Bill: SB 212
Topic: Continuing the Board of Dental Examiners.
Summary: The West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners would be continued until July 1, 2008.

Senate Bill: SB 217
Topic: Continuing the Board of Osteopathy.
Summary: The West Virginia Board Osteopathy would be continued until July 1, 2016.

Senate Bill: SB 223
Topic: Relating to the Examination of Insurance
and Health Care Entities.
Summary: This Bill reenacts previous legislation and amends it to extend many procedural report filing deadlines from ten to thirty days. This Bill also amends the previous legislation by requiring that health care corporations, organizations and providers be examined once every five years, as opposed to the current law which requires examination every year.

Senate Bill: SB 454 (Approved by Governor 3/6/06)
Topic: Removing Insurance Commissioner as health maintenance organizations’ attorney for service of process purposes.
Summary: The previously enacted legislation relating to the process by which one must obtain a certificate of authority to operate a health care facility, was renewed and amended to remove the Insurance Commissioner for service of process purposes.

Senate Bill: SB 463 (Approved by Governor 3/22/06)
Topic: Modifying Qualifications for License to Practice Medicine.
Summary: This Bill reenacts previous legislation regarding the qualifications for a license to practice medicine within the state. This Bill also amends the previous legislation by expanding the criteria by which an applicant for licensure may extend the seven year period to obtain a passing score on the medical examination an additional three years and amends it to include participating in an accredited fellowship training. Previously the only way to get the three year extension was if a student was enrolled in a dual MD-PhD program.

Senate Bill: SB 554 (Approved by Governor 3/31/06)
Topic: Clarifying Use of Forensic Medical Examination Fund
for certain nurses training.
Summary: This Bill clarifies that the Prosecuting Attorneys Association can use money from the Forensic Medical Examination Fund to pay to properly train nurses to examine victims of sexual assault.

Senate Bill: SB 619 (Approved by Governor 3/23/06)
Topic: Relating to Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Company
Board Member’s Term.
Summary: This Bill reenacts previous legislation relating to the organization and governance of the West Virginia Physician’s Mutual Company. It also removes term limits for its Board of Directors.

Senate Bill: SB 755
Topic: Relating to Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Company.
Summary: This Bill reenacts the previous legislation regarding specific coverage guidelines for Physicians’ Mutual Insurance Company. This Bill also amends the previous legislation to clarify the ability of the Mutual to decline or refuse to renew insurance policies transferred to it from the Board of Risk and Insurance Management when those policies expire. Other amendments include various insurance coverage criteria as well as establishing minimum standards and requirements for physician self-insurance arrangements to qualify as medical professional liability insurance for purposes of the Medical Professional Liability Act.

House Bill: HB 2548
Topic: The Diabetes Care Plan Act.
Summary: This Bill requires the establishment of individual diabetes care plans for students with diabetes by each county’s boards of education. The State Board of Education would also be responsible for adopting guidelines for the development and implementation of the individual diabetes plans.

House Bill: HB 4021
Topic: Relating to a pilot program authorizing participating health care clinics and private medical practitioners to provide primary and preventative health services for a prepaid fee.
Summary: This Bill establishes a low cost insurance health plan for uninsured workers. It also establishes, for rural areas, primary care in a prepaid, clinic based setting. This Bill also expands coverage for uninsured children under the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIPS) and establishes an Interagency Health Council to study and create a plan to offer universal health care coverage to all West Virginians. It also creates a reporting requirement for the Department of Health and Human Services to report on the costs shifted to private insurers as a result of Medicaid’s regular underpayment for medical services.

House Bill: HB 4069 (Approved by Governor 3/16/06)
Topic: Continuing the Rural Health Advisory panel.
Summary: This Bill continues the Rural Health Advisory Panel
until July 1, 2009.

House Bill: HB 4108 (Approved by Governor 3/31/06)
Topic: Allowing an osteopathic physician and surgeon to supervise up to three physician assistants generally.
Summary: This Bill reenacts previous legislation and amends it to allow osteopathic physicians and surgeons to generally supervise three (previously two) physician assistants.

House Bill: HB 4383
Topic: Continuing the pilot program offered through a Community Access Program to coordinate health care provider reimbursements indefinitely as determined by the insurance commissioner.
Summary: This Bill continues the pilot program offered through a Community Access program until July 1, 2007.

House Bill: HB 4488
Topic: Creating a commission to complete a comprehensive study of the state’s behavioral health system.
Summary: This Bill mandates a study of West Virginia’s behavioral health system, by creating a commission comprised of public and private citizens, and an advisory board to establish the parameters of the study and to give periodic reports of its progress and findings to the government.

House Bill: HB 4661
Topic: Continuing the Board of Registered Professional Nurses rule relating to dialysis technicians.
Summary: This Bill reenacts the previous legislation and continues the Board of Registered Professional Nurses’ emergency rule relating regarding “Dialysis Technicians” until July 1, 2007.

House Bill: HB 4685
Topic: Arthritis Prevention Education Act.
Summary: This Bill establishes an arthritis prevention and education treatment program, requires the Bureau of Public Health to establish strategies to promote and maintain such as program, and creates a council on arthritis.

House Bill: HB 4854
Topic: Expert opinions of licensed psychologists in the treatment and evaluation of children and taking testimony of child witnesses.
Summary: This Bill reenacts and amends the previous legislation dealing with the taking of testimony of a child witness by closed circuit television. It requires that a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist with at least five years of significant clinical experience treating children, or a licensed clinical social worker with five years of significant clinical experience treating children, act as a “friend of the court” in determining whether a child is emotionally able to testify in a court proceeding via closed circuit television.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I have a question. I cannot site the WV legislation that was enacted into law but it deals with family dependants age 25 and under and their health insurance coverage. It is my understanding that if you have a dependant age 25 or under that dependant will be covered under your family policy.
Could you tell me the number of the bill as it was signed into law, or where I can get this information?