8:05 am
Thu January 8, 2015

January 8, 1964: President Johnson Declares War on Poverty

The resulting initiative featured a wide range of programs, including training for unemployed coal miners to learn new skills. Most controversially, it provided funding to community action groups, many of which failed to accomplish their objectives.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

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Health Care
11:31 am
Fri December 26, 2014

WVU Grant Aims to Improve Health Care

Credit West Virginia University

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

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Medicaid implementing restrictions
3:56 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

New Drug Can Cure Hepatitis C – If Only We Could Afford It

Gilead Sciences has produced a curative drug for Hepatitis C, costing $1000 a pill.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The pill is called Sovaldi and it’s profoundly changing outcomes for Hepatitis C patients.

Just 5 years ago the cure rate for most patients in the US was about 50%. Now with Sovaldi, made by Gilead Sciences Inc. of California and approved by the FDA last December, the latest Hep C regimen is making therapy shorter, more tolerable, and the cure rate is reaching 95-100 %.

That’s significant for West Virginia, which has the second highest prevalence of Hepatitis C in the country.

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12:25 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

W.Va. Officials Launch Behavioral Health Program

  West Virginia officials are launching an initiative to help Medicaid members with behavioral health diagnoses live healthier and happier lives.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Medical Services said it launched the Health Homes initiative for behavioral health on July 1.

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12:41 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Numbers Show W.Va. has Increased Spending on Disabled

The present U.S. Supreme Court building seen from across 1st Street NE.
Credit Pine /

West Virginia has increased the amount it spends to allow the disabled to live outside institutions in the years since a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

The 1999 decision said unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounts to discrimination.

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4:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

W.Va. Increases Spending on Home Care for Disabled

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

  West Virginia has increased the amount it spends to allow the disabled to live outside institutions in the years since a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

The 1999 decision said unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounts to discrimination. Advocates for the mentally ill, older people and the disabled cite the ruling in arguing for home- or community-based care. The ruling has limitations. It says individuals should be "reasonably accommodated" and offers no guidance on allotting funds.

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11:14 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Audit: W.Va. at Risk of Losing Medicaid Funds

Credit Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Legislative auditors say West Virginia is at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding because state hasn't complied with a 2011 directive. The directive requires states to suspend Medicaid payments to health care providers if fraud allegations are determined to be credible. A legislative audit says Medicaid has paid at least $17.9 million to providers whose cases were referred to the state's Medicaid Fraud Unit. The payments could be as a high as $211 million.

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Health Care
9:57 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Health Insurance Coverage Increases in W.Va.

Credit 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.

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12:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Mass. Lab Settles W.Va. Health Care Fraud Case

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin

  A Massachusetts clinical testing lab will pay the federal government more than $4 million to settle a health care fraud case in West Virginia.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced the $4.67 million settlement with Calloway Laboratories, Inc. on Wednesday.

Goodwin says in a news release that an investigation found that Calloway Laboratories performed a medical review with urine drug screens that isn't covered by Medicare or West Virginia's Medicaid program. The company submitted claims for the review using a code for pathology services, which are covered.

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West Virginia Morning
8:23 am
Fri March 28, 2014

How to Sign Up for Health Care, Bluefield's Ahavath Shalom, & Holly Williams with "Drinkin'"

We take you through the process of signing up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid before Monday's deadline. We conclude our series on the Story of the Jews in West Virginia about the Ahavath Shalom congregation in Bluefield. Holly Williams performs "Drinkin'" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

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7:01 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

W.Va. Budget Deal Reached After Days of Debate

House Speaker Tim Miley, House Majority Leader Harry Keith White, and Gov. Tomblin's Chief of Staff Jason Pizatella meet at the Speaker's podium on Thursday, March 12, 2014.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House and Senate have come to an agreement on the state's budget for the next fiscal year. The process was stalled earlier in the week.

Negotiations between legislative leadership and the governor centered on two issues: how much money to pull from the state Attorney General's Consumer Protection Fund and how much money they could use to expand the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program for seniors.

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2:57 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Senator: Increased Sin Tax Could Help in Budget Crunch

Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Cabell.
Credit WV Legislative Photography

Senate Bill 534 was introduced in the Senate Tuesday to increase the excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The proposal would mean a $1 increase in taxes on a pack of cigarettes to $1.55 total. On all other tobacco products, the tax increases from 7 percent of the wholesale price to 50 percent.

“From a polling standpoint, people say they don’t have a problem with increasing cigarette taxes,” said Senator Bob Plymale, the bill’s lead sponsor.

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House of Delegates
5:19 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

House Members Debate Constitutionality, Pass Three Bills

Delegate Kevin Craig urges passage of H.B. 4182, a supplemental appropriations bill.
Credit Aaron Payne

Three bills were voted on and passed by the House of Delegates Tuesday.

H.B. 2387

The bill relates to reasonable accommodations under the West Virginia Fair Housing Act for persons with disabilities who need assistive animals. The bill would not only include seeing-eye dogs, but also support animals that one might not think of such as therapy dogs for returning veterans with PTSD.

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11:20 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Health Care Glitch Affects 18,000 W.Va. Residents

  A state official says a glitch in the federal health insurance marketplace has affected about 18,000 West Virginians trying to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
12:59 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

How Can You Protect Yourself from Medicare Fraud?

More than 170 seniors attended the AARP's "Consumer University" at the Embassy Suites in Charleston Thursday.
Credit Ashton Marra

Open enrollment for Medicare ends Saturday, Dec. 7, and Kimberly Riddle with the WV Senior Medicare Patrol said that means an influx of scams directed toward seniors.

Whether they receive phones calls asking for personal information for fake Obamacare cards or banking information to bill them for their new Medicaid cards, Riddle said it’s important for seniors to know these are fraudulent calls and to report them.

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Health Care
11:58 am
Thu November 21, 2013

60,000 More Residents Qualify for Medicaid

Gov. Tomblin announcing state's participation in Medicaid expansion earlier this year.
Credit Ashton Marra

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling announced today that a second round of 61,000 auto-enrollment letters have been mailed to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients and parents of children covered by Medicaid notifying them that they may automatically qualify for health insurance coverage.

To date, the DHHR has determined that 58,390 consumers are eligible for Medicaid expansion

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Health Care
11:11 am
Thu November 14, 2013

More than 7,000 West Virginians seek coverage under ACA

A report released in October by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states that West Virginia has the potential to benefit most from the Affordable Care Act.
Credit West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy


About half of the West Virginians who've applied for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act are eligible for government insurance programs.

Figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services show 7,096 West Virginians applied for health coverage through the federal government's website from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2. Of that total, about 3,100 were eligible for coverage either through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program.

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Health Care
10:39 am
Tue October 8, 2013

State Medicaid numbers up since expansion

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the expansion of eligibility for the state's Medicaid program earlier this year in Charleston.
Credit Ashton Marra

While state officials say they’re not sure how many West Virginians have signed up for private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act last week, more than 50,000 are now covered by Medicaid under the state’s expansion of the program.

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5:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State falling short in revenue collections for FY 2014

Director of the State Budget Office Mike McKown , Secretary of revenue Bob Kiss and Deputy Secretary Mark Muchow update the Joint Committee on Finance on the state's budget in the House Chambers.
Credit Ashton Marra

Newly appointed Secretary of Revenue Bob Kiss and members of his department presented an overview of last year’s budget to lawmakers. Legislators scrutinized the governor’s last minute decision to cut almost $18 million from Medicaid to balance the budget at the end of the last fiscal year, but they were also given some crucial insight into the revenue numbers for this year.

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