November 2, 2018
HCA approves million $$$ deals

According to the Oct. 26 edition of the State Register, it was a multi-million dollar week at the West Virginia Health Care Authority.


The HCA approved as complete and under review a CAMC application and a West Virginia University Hospitals application. This step in the approval process means there is sufficient information for the HCA to make a decision. It does not indicate approval.


The Charleston Area Medical Center  application is to develop a $2,438,000 ambulatory care facility at 3257 Teays Valley Road in Hurricane.


West Virginia University Hospitals’  application is for development of mobile lung cancer screening services in 42 counties at a cost of $1,282,000.

In other action:


RegionalCare Hospital Partners Holdings, Inc., of Brentwood, Tennessee, was approved for a $350 million expedited certificate of need request to become “an indirect parent” of Logan Regional Medical Center and Raleigh General Hospital.

First Center LLC and Citenik Properties LLC were granted an extension until April 30, 2019, for a $20 million certificate of need to develop a 97-bed nursing home in Cabell County.



Abortion foes rallying last-minute support. Politico reports, “Abortion foes buoyed by the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority are rallying last-minute support for ballot initiatives in three states that would ban or significantly limit access to the procedure.


“Measures in West Virginia and Alabama would amend those state constitutions to expressly declare that abortion rights are not protected, allowing conservative state legislatures to ban the procedure should the high court strike down Roe vs. Wade. West Virginia’s measure also seeks to cut off public funding for abortions, while Alabama’s would grant full ‘personhood’ rights to fetuses.”


Three D’s, three R’s vie for House’s 16th. The Herald-Dispatch reports, “Three Democrats and three Republicans are vying for three spots to represent the 16th District of the West Virginia House of Delegates.”


Justice says he will most likely run again. WVAH reports, “Clay County High School welcomed West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice…, and the governor made an impromptu announcement about his future in state government.

“During a question-and-answer session, Justice told students that he will most likely run for office again.”


Tobacco industry opposes Montana Medicaid expansion based on increased tobacco tax. Politico reports, “A ballot initiative to fund continued Medicaid expansion through an increased tobacco tax is in a statistical dead heat as big tobacco pours millions into the state…“The $2-per-pack tax is designed to fund a permanent expansion of the Medicaid program, providing coverage to roughly 100,000 Montanans. While about two-third of voters supported the idea earlier this year, that has tumbled to 41 percent in the latest poll as tobacco companies channel $17 million — a Montana record for ballot spending — into their campaign.”



Battles for credibility and independence of courts taking place on state level. The Atlantic reports, “Battles for the credibility and independence of the courts have also been taking place at the state level with equal portent and significance, especially in West Virginia, where the Republican legislature has impeached the justices of the state’s supreme court—and in the process has changed control of the high court from Democratic to Republican… The state’s unprecedented impeachment effort may warn of a worrying new trend. “



ANA uses ‘gamification’ to train nurses. HEALTHCARE DIVE reports, “A heavy dose of gamification [by the American Nurses Association] can allow for personalization of learning on a massive scale.”


Kanawha, Putnam Health Departments offering flu vaccinations.  The Herald-Dispatch reports, “The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Putnam County Health Department, which give approximately 9,500 vaccinations during each flu season, are now offering flu vaccinations from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.”


San Francisco hurrying to launch homeless conservatorship program. The San Francisco Examiner reports, “[San Francisco] officials are hurrying to launch a conservatorship program to force the homeless and mentally ill into treatment by early next year, but homeless advocates argue there are not enough resources or safeguards for the civil rights of those in the program in place.”


Study claims some California physicians charging hundreds of dollars to issue vaccination exemptions. Health Day reports, “A handful of California doctors are making hay off anti-vaccine parents, charging hundreds of dollars to issue medical exemptions for required childhood vaccinations…”


…Long-term impact of vaccination bill may be limited. Gateway reports, “Participants [from local health jurisdictions in California] reported many challenges and concerns with medical exemptions under SB277. Without additional legal changes, including a standardized review of medical exemptions, some physicians may continue to write medical exemptions for vaccine-hesitant parents, potentially limiting the long-term impact of SB277.”


Thought bubble: We reported in September, “Attorneys for the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children and Families were instructed … to draft legislation for the 2019 session allowing family physicians or pediatricians to decide if a child should receive an immunization medical exemption, bypassing the state-level approval system in place since 2015.”


Public Safety

Wheeling officials make public safety levy push. The Intelligencer reports, “City officials made one last push… for a $22 million levy that would lead to the construction of a public safety building in downtown Wheeling.”

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