Health Care

A new law goes into effect June 8, 2015 that allows hospital patients to designate their caregivers.  House Bill 2100, the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act or CARE Act was passed by the 2015 West Virginia Legislature.  As part of our occasional series "Effective From Passage," Gaylene Miller, State Director of the AARP joins us to discuss what affect this bill, which was one of the organization's priorities,  will have on citizens.

West Virginia was the fourth state to pass the CARE Act.  The others were Oklahoma, New Jersey and Virginia.   The AARP says eight other states have now implemented the law. 

On West Virginia Morning, the president of the United Mine Workers union rallies members to fight the U.S. EPA that he says are causing thousands of job losses in the coalfields. And we’ll travel to Gilbert in Mingo County to find out how the community is overcoming challenges to access to health care.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


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Federal officials say more than 12,000 West Virginians have enrolled or re-enrolled in plans sold through the health insurance marketplace.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University is getting a nearly $2 million grant to help improve health care statewide.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

  The number of West Virginians getting health insurance through two programs has increased more than in almost any other state since Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act.

That's according to federal data released this week on those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program as of April 30.

The Charleston Gazette reports that nearly 154,000 West Virginians had enrolled in one of the programs since open enrollment began.

West Virginia University

A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center administrator has been named president and CEO of West Virginia University Hospitals.

Dr. Albert L. Wright Jr.'s appointment is effective Aug. 1. He will replace Bruce McClymonds, who is retiring at the end of May.
 

  Almost 20,000 West Virginians have enrolled in health coverage through the federal marketplace.

As of March 31, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said only 6 percent of West Virginia's federal exchange signups were between 18 to 25 years old, tied with Minnesota for the lowest percentage in the country. At 13 percent of exchange signups, West Virginia is also tied with Arizona and Vermont for lowest percentage of 26 to 34 year olds enrolled.

Of about 19,860 West Virginia enrollees, 57 percent are female.

Noble Energy donates $250,000 to the Appalachian Petroleum Training Center to help expand drilling industry programs at Pierpont in Fairmont and Northern Community Technical Colleges in Wheeling.
Eastern Panhandle audiences will have the opportunity to see a one-man play that focuses on issues surrounding problems with the health care system. Huntington Prep gets their first chance to play with for a national title finally having scored an affilliation with the WVSSAC.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

West Virginia continues to lag behind the rest of the country in the number of younger people enrolled in health insurance through the federal marketplace.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said as of March 1, 18 percent of those signed up through the federal exchange in West Virginia were ages 18 to 34. That's only a slight improvement from a month earlier and ties West Virginia with Oregon for the lowest percent of signups from that age group. Arizona, Hawaii and Maine were at 19 percent.
 

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

Sen. Joe Manchin is introducing legislation, along with five other senators, that would exempt volunteer first responders from a mandate in the new health care law.

The bill is titled “The Protect Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act.” According to a news release, this legislation would amend the Affordable Care Act so that volunteer emergency service workers are not required to be counted as full-time equivalent employees under the healthcare coverage law.

Enrollment in West Virginia's health insurance marketplace has jumped by more than 500 percent in the past month.
 
     Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 1,200 West Virginians have enrolled in plans through the federal exchange as of Monday. That's up from 198 people on Nov. 13.
 
     Highmark is the only private insurer participating in West Virginia's health insurance marketplace.
 
     Meanwhile, about 75,000 people have enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program, 12,000 more than the state projected.
 

West Virginia ambulance
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The American Heart Association in West Virginia is working with nearly 100 healthcare and emergency medical service providers to provide better care for heart problems.  The group says that hundreds of thousands of Americans have a type of heart attack called a STEMI in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Unless the blockage is eliminated quickly, the patient’s life is at serious risk.

Submitted Photo

The West Virginia University School of Nursing Eastern Division is tackling health and wellness problems in the Eastern Panhandle counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan. A three year study is leading to a conversation in the community about how to make the area a healthier place to live.

Ashton Marra

The number of uninsured West Virginians is expected to drop by 70 percent in the next three years. That’s according to numbers from the state Insurance Commissioners Office and presented by West Virginians for Affordable Health Care in the wake of open enrollment under the health care exchange.