Government, WVPA Sharing

W.Va. House committee advances bills on water source protection, pharmacists, nursing homes, student loans 

By Erica Young

WV Press Capitol Reporter

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia House of Delegates Committee on Health and Human Resources took quick action Tuesday on legislation addressing water source protection, pharmacists, nursing homes and student loans.

First on the agenda was  House Bills 2612 — an amendment “to authorize the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to propose rules related to completion or updating source water protection plans.

Second was HB 2651 — an amendment requiring pharmacists to inform customers of lower priced options and The Public Employees Insurance Agency plan sponsor to “report quarterly for all quarters through the one ending June 30, 2022 to the agency for all pharmacy claims.”

Both bills were approved to go to the floor with the recommendation to pass (HB 2651 will first be referred to the Finance Committee) after no questions for counsel.

Next was HB 2607 — clarifying rule requirements relating to the licensure of nursing homes.

Both Jolynn Marra, director of OHFLAC, and Megan Roskovensky, director of Government Relations for the West Virginia Healthcare Association, answered questions about financial aspects of the bill and said that there are currently significant reporting requirements already in place to Medicare and Medicaid.

After very little discussion, the bill was moved to go to the floor with the recommendation to pass.

Finally the committee looked at HB 2674-creating a student loan repayment program for a mental health provider. The program was designed to “provide an incentive for health professional students to complete their training and provide primary care and emergency medical care in underserved areas of West Virginia” and would not require a fiscal note at this time.

The program would be available to fourth-year students at the Marshall University School of Medicine, the West Virginia University School of Osteopathic Medicine or the West Virginia University School of Medicine that has been accepted to a primary care or emergency care internship or residency within the state.

Those enrolled in an approved education program in West Virginia “leading to a degree or certification in the field of nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse midwife, physician assistant, dentist, pharmacist, physical therapist, doctoral clinical psychologist, licensed independent clinical social worker or other disciplines identified as shortage fields” would also be eligible.

This bill was also sent to the floor with recommendation of passage after first going to the Finance Committee.

 

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