HEALTH

Gov. Ralph Northam

Gov. Northam creates new commission to address opioid and other drug addiction

BY: - October 1, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam’s new bipartisan advisory commission to tackle opioid addiction across the state, which met for the first time last week, includes more than two dozen local government officials, law enforcement, lawyers, medical experts and regular people who have seen family members battle opioid addiction. The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Opioids and Addiction was formed […]

Warner’s black lung detection bill becomes law

BY: - October 1, 2018

President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan amendment backed by Virginia Sen. Mark Warner aimed at improving the early detection of black lung, a common disease among coal miners. The amendment requires the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to provide Congress with a report on how to improve participation in the Coal […]

Despite deaths, dozens of violations and revoked licenses, Richmond assisted-living facility remains open

BY: - October 1, 2018

It’s been more than 20 years since Michel Burke-Barnes and Margaret Burke last saw their brother. But in that time, they thought and prayed about him a lot. They wondered: Was he okay? Was somebody taking care of him? They knew he was living at Jones & Jones Assisted Living in Richmond, but little else. […]

Should abuse allegations against teachers be subject to a higher standard of proof?

BY: - September 27, 2018

A group of lawmakers is weighing whether teachers merit an extra level of protection during child abuse investigations. For most cases, an allegation is considered founded if child protective services investigators determine that the alleged abuse or neglect actually occurred based on the available evidence. But if the alleged act took place within the scope […]

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to choose when they die? The medical-aid-in-dying debate comes to Virginia

BY: - September 24, 2018

The fraught debate over medical aid in dying —or what some opponents refer to as physician-assisted suicide — has landed in Virginia. The state’s Joint Commission on Health Care just completed a report on the issue, at the request of Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, which is currently up for public comment until Oct. 15. And […]

State Sen. Tommy Norment

Senate Republicans fume over Medicaid work requirement time frame

BY: and - September 20, 2018

Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services has completed a draft of the state’s Medicaid work requirement proposal, which is now open for public comment before it goes to the federal government for approval. But when they were briefed on the work requirement during a meeting Thursday, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee gnashed their […]

Virginians more supportive of Medicaid expansion than ever before, survey shows

BY: - September 20, 2018

A new statewide survey conducted by the University of Mary Washington shows that more Virginians support Medicaid expansion than ever before. The survey, based on telephone interviews with 801 Virginia adults, found that 76 percent support expansion, 18 percent oppose it and the remaining 6 percent are uncertain. The highest approval ratings were in Northern […]

Will thousands of new Medicaid enrollees inundate an already overloaded social services workforce?

BY: - September 20, 2018

Virginia’s 120 local social services departments are on the front lines when determining eligibility for benefit programs like Medicaid, and they’re trying to prepare for the wave of applicants they’ll likely see once Medicaid expansion hits the state in January. That could be a daunting task, though, as the state’s eligibility workers are already overworked and […]

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 […]