2019 West Virginia Legislative Highlights: Health Care 

June, 2019 - Jill Cranston Rice (formerly Bentz), Raymond L. Harrell, Jr.

Dinsmore’s Government Relations team was involved in several significant legislative initiatives affecting the health care sector during the 2019 regular session of the West Virginia legislature. Most notably, Dinsmore was involved in the passage of HB 2010, relating to foster care. HB 2010 transitions West Virginia children in foster care into managed care by vesting authority with the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to transition to a capitated Medicaid program for all children placed in foster care and classified as a foster child. The bill requires the secretary to utilize a managed care model, which is statewide, fully integrated, and risk-based; integrates Medicaid-reimbursed eligible services; and aligns incentives to ensure the appropriate care is delivered in the most appropriate place and time. The use of a managed care organization provides a single point of accountability for families by vesting the responsibility with an organization that has expertise, experience, and organization to maximize comprehensive care for foster care children. After successfully progressing through an unprecedented five committee references, including one public hearing on the floor of the house of delegates, HB 2010 passed both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice on March 26, 2019.

Other notable legislation was HB 2405, relating to the taxation of managed care organizations. HB 2405 imposes a tiered tax on MCOs that complies with applicable federal law in a manner that will permit the maximization of federal matching dollars for use in the state Medicaid program. The tax will expire in three years and will result in an estimated $220 million in additional revenue through federal matching funds. HB 2405 passed both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Justice on March 9, 2019.

Dinsmore’s lobbyists also worked with stakeholders on the passage of a compromise version of HB 2351, relating to prior authorizations. The purpose of the bill is to allow health insurers to accept electronic prior authorization requests and respond to these requests through electronic means by July 1, 2020. HB 2351 also establishes certain deadlines by which insurers must respond to prior authorization requests. The bill passed both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Justice on March 1, 2019.


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