Members of the Health Committee in the House of Delegates are considering a bill that could potentially create an easier path for new healthcare providers to set up shop in West Virginia.
House Bill 2259 was taken up by the House’s Health Committee Tuesday afternoon. It would allow the West Virginia Healthcare Authority to provide exemptions for Certificates of Need.
The committee’s chair, Delegate Joe Ellington said if someone wants to start a healthcare business in West Virginia, like a new hospital or clinic, they have to be approved for a Certificate of Need, but Ellington said allowing for exemptions from that process would make West Virginia more competitive.
“This bill is more tweaking it toward tele-medicine,” Ellington noted, “and also being able to, nursing beds, being able to transfer nursing beds within the state.”
He does say, however, it’s important to pay attention to how many exemptions are given.
“Well, if you put too many exemptions then you have some facilities that don’t have enough clientele to maintain it, particularly some of our rural hospitals,” he said, “We don’t want to get rid of those facilities or make it harder on them to exist, but by the same token, we also want to increase access to care for our patients and our citizens.”
House Bill 2259 passed out of the House’s Health Committee without debate Tuesday and was referred to House Judiciary for further consideration.