Proposed Legislation Could Generate Millions and Modernize State’s Public Health System

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The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health announced legislation today that, if passed, could modernize the state’s public health system and increase revenue.

The proposed legislation would make it easier for local health department to bill insurance companies at the maximum allowable rates. 

Currently, the state subsidizes many local programs and services. In a Tuesday press conference, Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health Rahul Gupta said that this model is unsustainable – especially considering that more WV residents than ever before are insured.

The legislation is modeled off of initiatives at the Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County Health Departments, of which Gupta was previously the executive director. If the bill is approved by lawmakers, it could allow local health departments to bill insurance companies nearly $8 million annually.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.