HEALTH

Up to half of Medicaid expansion population could have mental-health or substance-use diagnoses

BY: - September 20, 2018

Based on the experiences of other states, about 50 percent of Virginia’s newly eligible Medicaid expansion population — about 200,000 people — could have behavioral health or substance-use diagnoses. In a presentation he made to the Joint Commission on Health Care on Tuesday, Dr. Daniel Carey, secretary of health and human resources, told lawmakers that […]

Virginia’s Bureau of Insurance recovers more than $3.4 million for consumers so far this year

BY: - September 19, 2018

The State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance has recovered more than $3.4 million worth of benefits and savings so far this year through complaint investigations, managed care appeals and market conduct examinations, according to a news release. Two of the bureau’s divisions — Life and Health and Property and Casualty — recovered the money for […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia Department of Health sends nurses to North Carolina

BY: - September 17, 2018

The state’s Department of Health, along with local departments in Fairfax and Arlington counties, are sending 35 public health nurses to North Carolina to provide emergency shelters with medical support in the wake of Hurricane Florence, which has so far killed 23 people. The first 22 nurses left Virginia on Sunday, while the state’s remaining […]

Thousands of Virginia inmates are believed to have hepatitis C and can’t access the cure

BY: - September 17, 2018

The state treated Elmo Augustus Reid’s hepatitis C once before. It didn’t work. An inmate at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Reid was treated in 2013 once he had fibrosis, or scarring, on his liver. He was given drugs that had been used to treat hepatitis C for years, but with little likelihood of […]

Sexually-transmitted diseases make a comeback in Virginia, with a dangerous antibiotic-resistant twist

BY: - September 14, 2018

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have been rising in Virginia and across the country, with data showing sharp increases in these sexually-transmitted diseases year-over-year since 2013. And so far this year, that trend has yet to stop, according to Virginia’s preliminary 2018 data. Already the state has more gonorrhea cases this year than compared […]

Virginia Mercury

Medicaid expansion will continue downward trend in Virginia’s uninsured rate

BY: - September 13, 2018

New U.S. Census Bureau data shows Virginia’s uninsured rate held steady in 2017 at 8.8 percent, according to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, a Richmond nonprofit policy research group. The figures represent a total 3.5 percent reduction in the uninsured rate since 2013, just before the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2014. Meanwhile, […]

Virginia Beach sues drug companies over opioid crisis

BY: - September 11, 2018

Joining a growing list of counties and cities in Virginia, the city of Virginia Beach filed a lawsuit today against the drug companies it claims are responsible for the opioid epidemic gripping the state. The city follows in the footsteps of more than a dozen other Virginia localities, mostly in the southwestern part of the […]

The upper reaches of Lake Anna have been hit by algae blooms that can cause illness, prompting state officials to warn visitors against swimming and wading. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

What’s causing toxic algae blooms in Lake Anna?

BY: - September 10, 2018

For swimmers at Lake Anna, summer ended early this year. The lake, located about an hour northwest of Richmond, has been home to algae blooms that can cause rashes and gastrointestinal illness, particularly in the northern Pamunkey and North Anna branches in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties. A bloom was also identified farther south, at […]

Herring goes after Purdue for pushing opioids into Virginia

BY: - September 5, 2018

Between 2008 and 2017, Purdue Pharma pumped opioids into Virginia, lying about the highly addictive quality of the prescription painkillers that have resulted in a seemingly unstoppable opioid epidemic, Attorney General Mark Herring claims. Herring filed a complaint against Purdue in the Circuit Court of Tazewell County early this morning, updating a lawsuit initially filed […]

The gaping dental gap: As Virginia prepares to expand Medicaid, thousands still lack access to dental care

BY: - September 4, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — One of the patients the Free Clinic of Franklin County sent to Dr. Brian Alexander had a hole in the roof of her mouth. A dentist, Alexander has cared for dozens of low-income patients referred to him by the free clinic over the last several years. But that woman’s case stands out […]

The state will need a waiver from its own new opioid prescription rules

BY: - August 30, 2018

Since the opioid epidemic began, policy makers have been trying to stop the torrent of highly addictive painkillers that providers began pouring into the general population in the 1990s. But clamping down on prescriptions is not as simple as it might seem. As Virginia nails down regulations that could prevent fraudulent prescriptions, it must also […]

Department of Health announces 12 cases of West Nile so far this year

BY: - August 28, 2018

Virginia has seen 12 human cases of West Nile virus so far this year, the state’s Department of Health reported Tuesday. Last year, Virginia had 13 West Nile cases, up from only eight in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of West Nile cases vary widely from year to […]