Governor Manchin has until Friday (tomorrow) to decide whether he will approve the revised standards developed by the West Virginia Health Care Authority or send them back with recommended modifications.
For more history on the standards with links to the revised standards see my previous post.
UPDATE (7/18/08): This morning Governor Manchin issued the following statement indicating that he is sending the proposed Cardiac Catheterization standards back to the West Virginia Health Care Authority to revise and clarify the "medical transport drive time" language.
The Daily Mail reports on the decision.
STATEMENT FROM THE GOVERNOR ABOUT HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY’S PROPOSED ANGIOPLASTY STANDARDS
Contact: Lara Ramsburg, 304-558-2000
Gov. Joe Manchin today released the following statement about his approval, WITH EXCEPTION, of new West Virginia Health Care Authority rules that would allow some smaller hospitals in the state to perform angioplasty and other cardiac catheterization procedures:
“Any time we’re charged with making a decision that affects the quality of health care for our citizens, it’s a decision that must be carefully considered. In this case, we’ve taken a very close look at data gathered over several years, and a number of other facts about the ability of our hospitals to perform heart angioplasty procedures that have the potential to save hundreds of lives, especially given our state’s high heart disease rates and rural nature.
“Based upon this research, and the recommendation of the Health Care Authority, I am approving the majority of the standards that will give our citizens easier access to important emergency heart procedures; however, I have directed the Health Care Authority to revise the rules as they pertain to elective cardiac catheterization service and return them to me for reconsideration as soon as possible.
“Due to the ambiguity in the term ‘medical transport drive time,’ the current language in the proposed standards does not make it clear as to which hospitals could provide the elective procedure to their patients, so I believe the standards should be written to make sure that the appropriate hospitals are allowed to provide this service, under the strict guidelines and monitoring of the Health Care Authority.
“This decision, in its entirety, is solely based upon one objective – to provide all of our citizens, regardless of their location, access to the best possible medical care in their time of need.”
– Gov. Joe Manchin