U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Medicare has halted payments to a West Virginia psychiatric hospital because it is not in compliance with the program's requirements for a psychiatric hospital.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Medicare will not make payments for beneficiaries who are admitted to William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital effective Wednesday. Officials say it will continue to make payments for up to 30 days for beneficiaries admitted before Wednesday.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it will award $144 million in grants across the country to prevent and treat opioid addiction. But West Virginia won’t see any of it.

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Nearly $3.7 million has been awarded to health centers and rural health organizations across West Virginia.

The funding is aimed to help increase access to both substance abuse and mental health services. It’ll provide health centers with support to hire new staff, provide training, and to purchase health information technology.

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West Virginia University plans to host what it's calling a summit meeting on health care policy for children on Thursday.

Scheduled speakers include former U. S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and former U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary and now American University President Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

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Latest enrollment figures show that 32,855 West Virginians signed up for 2017 coverage under the Affordable Care Act as of Dec. 24, 2016. 

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Additional federal dollars are coming to West Virginia to help combat the state’s opioid epidemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' announcement was used to mark national Overdose Awareness Day.

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A new report says nearly 12 million Medicare beneficiaries received at least one prescription for an opioid painkiller last year at a cost of $4.1 billion. Federal data show how common the addictive drugs are in many older Americans' medicine cabinets.

Six West Virginia health centers will soon receive millions of federal dollars to help fund renovations.  

Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced the funding Monday. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the 5.3 million dollars in grants will help almost 11,000 patients in need. The funding will be used to renovate and update facilities in order to accommodate more patients and increase access to care.

The U.S. Justice Department says 32 hospitals in 15 states have agreed to pay $28 million to settle allegations they admitted patients for certain procedures that could have been done on an outpatient basis, resulting in higher Medicare bills.

The settlement announced Friday is the latest involving kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.

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Federal officials say 8,000 West Virginians have chosen health plans in the insurance marketplace created by President Barack Obama's health care law since an open enrollment period began on Nov. 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the 2016 enrollment figures Wednesday.

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Federal officials say West Virginia residents will see an 18.5 percent increase in the cost of a benchmark plan on the health care exchange.

The increase for 2016 coverage in West Virginia is higher than the average for the 37 states that are using the Healthcare.gov. website. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that premiums for the benchmark plan across all states relying on the federal exchange will increase by an average of 7.5 percent.

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West Virginia has been awarded nearly $10 million in federal funding to support the state's community health centers.

The funding is provided by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the funding is to support West Virginia community health centers providing primary and preventative care services.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
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The Williamson Health and Wellness Center will receive $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announced the funding on Tuesday.

The money is designated for enhancing psychological and social health care services for people with diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

A West Virginia program that protects seniors from health care fraud and abuse is getting a boost from the federal government.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito on Monday announced just over $242,000 in federal funding for the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services for Senior Medicare Patrol Program projects. The program offers education and training to increase s awareness and understanding of health care programs.

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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.

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Four health centers in West Virginia will expand behavioral health services using funds from the Affordable Care Act.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced almost a million dollars in funds from the federal health care act will support and expand services for about 29,000 West Virginians  that seek treatment from those 4 health centers.

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More than $900,000 in refunds from insurance companies are headed to 8,300 consumers in West Virginia.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the payments Thursday, crediting the Affordable Care Act.

Burwell said the refunds in West Virginia will average $177 per family.

Community Health Systems of Beckley is one of 60 clinics across the country that will share more than 80 million dollars in Affordable Care Act money.
 

The rural clinic  will receive a $1.65 million grant to help train primary care providers.

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Federal health officials are opposing the planned sale of Fairmont General Hospital to Alecto Healthcare Services.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld filed the objection Monday on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wheeling.

The filing says the sale would violate federal law by preventing full repayment of money owed on Medicare contracts. Instead, the sale proposes to set limits of up to $1.5 million for repayment on three contracts.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
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West Virginia native Sylvia Matthews Burwell faced questions from Senators Thursday during her first hearing to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A few republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions made their dislike of the Affordable Care Act- or Obamacare as they called it- known with questions about  last fall’s rocky web site rollout, whether the numbers of enrollees are accurate and whether the deadline for the individual mandate should be extended. But for the most part Republicans seemed to be receptive to Burwell heading Health and Human Service with North Carolina Senator Richard Burr giving an outright endorsement.

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