HEALTH

Virginia's lawmakers were smacked with an unexpected $462.5 million Medicaid bill in November that they have to pay in the biennial budget, and now they're debating how to stop it from happening again. The nearly half-billion dollar shortfall is mostly rooted in the state's overly optimistic estimate of how much money...
Earlier this year, lawmakers warned representatives from Virginia's hospitals and health plans that if they didn't find a solution to balance billing, the General Assembly would. And with a handful of bills filed, legislators appear eager to tackle the problem head-on this session. Balance billing occurs when an out-of-network provider bills...
WASHINGTON — Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are trying to ensure pensions and health care benefits for coal miners at risk of losing them. The senators last week introduced the American Miners Act of 2019 along with several of their Democratic colleagues. Their legislation aims to shore up...
Some lawmakers already sported wry smiles as Sarah Stanton, a staff member with the Division of Legislative Services, walked to a lectern in late November to deliver a presentation on Virginia's Certificate of Public Need, or COPN, program. "Everybody's favorite topic," she said sarcastically, and both the crowd behind her...
Seventeen attorneys general, including Virginia's Mark Herring, have filed a notice of appeal in an effort to reverse a Texas judge's ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The filing moves the case into the conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, just as the newly Democrat-controlled House of Representatives...
The Virginia Mercury launched in July to provide a sustained focus on statewide issues that have fallen through the cracks as traditional news outlets shrink. Here’s the second in a holiday-week series looking back on how we’ve spent our time since then. For years, one of the most vehemently debated...
More than 182,000 people have signed up for Medicaid since the eligibility rules changed under expansion on Nov. 1, and the state has high hopes that number will continue to rise — even after a federal judge in Texas issued a ruling declaring every part of the Affordable Care...
In its first report to the General Assembly on needle exchanges in Virginia, the state's Department of Health is hoping lawmakers will give them more time to get going. Needle exchanges — also known as comprehensive harm reduction or syringe services programs — have only been legal in Virginia for...
Federal investigators say a Sterling woman ran a massive health care fraud operation in which she defrauded Medicare, Tricare, private insurance and the IRS out of more than $10 million by billing for medically unnecessary sleep studies. Young Yi, 44, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the conspiracy,...
A group of lawmakers made a series of recommendations Tuesday aimed at tackling a variety of problems within Virginia’s mental health system, which is marred by overcrowded hospitals and jails full of people with serious mental illness. Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, chairman of the Joint Subcommittee Studying Mental Health Services...