West Virginia Code
This article shall be known and may be cited as "The Rural Health Initiative Act of 1991."
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the health of the citizens of West Virginia is of paramount importance; that the education of health care professionals must be reshaped; that the delivery of health care services must be improved; that refocusing health sciences education will aid in the recruitment of health care professionals and their retention in the state; that the educational process should incorporate clinical experience in rural areas and provide improved availability of health care services throughout the state, especially in rural areas; and that the state investment in such education and services must be contained within reasonable limits.
(b) The Legislature further hereby finds and declares that the vice chancellor for health sciences shall provide an integral link among the advisory panel created in section six of this article, the health sciences programs at the state institutions of higher education, the governing boards of the state's institutions of higher education and the joint commission for vocational-technical-occupational education to assure cooperation and the coordination of efforts to effectuate the goals set forth in section four of this article.
(c) It is the further finding of the Legislature that the appropriations pursuant to section eight of this article are made with the understanding that the educational and clinical programs existing at the schools of medicine on the effective date of this section, as well as the goals of this article, will be met without requests for increases in the annual appropriations through the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1995, with the exception of requested increases in appropriations for the purpose of meeting any increases in the salaries of personnel as may be given to other employees at state institutions of higher education under the board of trustees.
(d) The Legislature further finds that there is a serious need throughout the state for a greater number of primary care physicians and allied health care professionals and a serious need for improved accessibility to adequate health care throughout the state, especially in rural areas; that the state's medical schools are finding it difficult to satisfy the ever increasing demand for qualified persons to deliver these health care services; and that the state's institutions of higher education and rural health care facilities existing throughout the state are a major educational resource for training students in these health care services, as well as a major resource for providing health care to underserved citizens of this state.
(e) The Legislature further finds that in order to provide adequate health care in rural communities there must be a cooperative initiative among educators, physicians, mid-level providers, allied health care providers and the rural communities.
(f) The Legislature further finds that the rural health initiative and the Kellogg program have together implemented a nationally acclaimed, highly successful effort to enable the health professions schools to serve the rural and primary care health needs of the state and should be continued as a single program within the office of the vice chancellor for health sciences.
For purposes of this article, and in addition to the definitions set forth in section two, article one of this chapter, the terms used in this article have the following definitions ascribed to them:
(a) "Advisory panel" or "panel" means the West Virginia rural health advisory panel created under section six of this article.
(b) "Allied health care" means health care other than that provided by physicians, nurses, dentists and mid-level providers and includes, but is not limited to, care provided by clinical laboratory personnel, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, medical records personnel, dietetic personnel, radiologic personnel, speech-language-hearing personnel and dental hygienists.
(c) "Mid-level provider" includes, but is not limited to, advanced nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and physician assistants.
(d) "Office of community and rural health services" means that agency, staff or office within the Department of Health and Human Resources which has as its primary focus the delivery of rural health care.
(e) "Primary care" means basic or general health care which emphasizes the point when the patient first seeks assistance from the medical care system and the care of the simpler and more common illnesses. This type of care is generally rendered by family practice physicians, general practice physicians, general internists, obstetricians, pediatricians, psychiatrists and mid-level providers.
(f) "Primary health care education sites" or "sites", whether the term is used in the plural or singular, means those rural health care facilities established for the provision of educational and clinical experiences pursuant to section seven of this article.
(g) "Rural health care facilities" or "facilities", whether the term is used in the plural or singular, means nonprofit, free-standing primary care clinics in medically underserved or health professional shortage areas and nonprofit rural hospitals with one hundred or less licensed acute care beds located in a nonstandard metropolitan statistical area.
(h) "Schools of medicine" means the West Virginia University school of medicine, which is the school of health sciences; the Marshall school of medicine, which is the Marshall medical school; and the West Virginia school of osteopathic medicine.
(i) "Vice chancellor" means the vice chancellor for health sciences provided for under section six, article two of this chapter.
There is hereby established a rural health initiative under the auspices of the board of trustees and under the direction and administration of the vice chancellor. This initiative shall combine the efforts of the rural health initiative as created by this article in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-one, and the Kellogg program as administered by the vice chancellor before the effective date of this section. The goals of the rural health initiative include, but are not limited to:
(a) The development of at least six primary health care education sites;
(b) The establishment of satellite programs from the primary health care education sites to provide additional opportunities for students and medical residents to serve under role models in rural areas;
(c) The provision of training to all medical students under the direction of primary care physicians practicing in rural areas;
(d) The provision of admission preferences for qualified students entering primary care in needed specialties in underserved areas;
(e) The creation of medical residency rotations in hospitals and clinics in rural areas and the provision of incentives to medical residents to accept the residencies at these hospitals and clinics;
(f) The placement of mid-level providers in rural communities and the provision of support to the mid-level providers;
(g) The extension of rural hospital physician respite loan programs to rural primary health care clinics;
(h) The development of innovative programs which enhance student interest in rural health care opportunities;
(i) The increased placement of primary care physicians in underserved areas;
(j) The increased retention of obstetrical providers and the availability of prenatal care;
(k) The increased use of underserved areas of the state in the educational process;
(l) An increase in the number of support services provided to rural practitioners;
(m) An increase in the retention rate of graduates from West Virginia medical schools, nursing schools and allied health care education programs;
(n) The development of effective health promotion and disease prevention programs to enhance wellness; and
(o) The establishment of primary health care education sites which complement existing community health care resources and which do not relocate the fundamental responsibility for health care from the community to the board of trustees.
In addition to all other duties assigned to the vice chancellor by the Higher Education Policy Commission, the vice chancellor shall:
(a) Provide assistance to communities in planning an educational and clinical component for the primary health care education sites;
(b) Coordinate and approve the provision of faculty members, students, interns and residents at the education sites;
(c) Report directly to the Higher Education Policy Commission regarding the rural health initiative;
(d) Oversee the administration of the Kellogg foundation grant;
(e) Coordinate the rural health initiative with the allied health care education programs within the state college and community college systems;
(f) Prepare the budget for the rural health initiative and submit the budget to the Higher Education Policy Commission for their approval;
(g) Distribute the funds which were appropriated to the Higher Education Policy Commission for the rural health initiative;
(h) Mediate any disputes between the institutions of higher education regarding the rural health initiative;
(i) Consult with the Council for Community and Technical College Education established under §18B-2B-3 of this code on the coordination of the education of student practical nurses with the rural health initiative; and
(j) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this article or as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article.
Acts, 2015 Reg. Sess., Ch. 53.
Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.
(a) In addition to the authority granted elsewhere in this chapter, the board of trustees is authorized and directed to establish at least six primary health care education sites at existing rural health care facilities at which students, interns and residents in health sciences and allied health care education programs may be provided educational and clinical experiences. The board of trustees shall establish at least six sites prior to January 1, 1994. The vice chancellor shall, where practicable, and based upon recommendations of the joint commission on vocational-technical-occupational education established in section one, article three-a of this chapter, allow for the provision of educational experience to student practical nurses at the primary health care education sites.
(b) The advisory panel and the vice chancellor shall carefully analyze prospective sites so that the selection of the primary health care education sites and their satellites meet the ultimate goals of expanding rural health care without adversely impacting on existing health care providers or facilities.
(c) The advisory panel and the vice chancellor shall employ an open and competitive process in selecting locations for primary health care education sites and shall observe as criteria the following factors: (1) The degree of community interest, support and involvement in seeking award of the site; (2) qualification as a medically underserved or health professional shortage area; (3) the financial need of the community; (4) statewide geographic dispersion; (5) the amount of local financial support available to initiate and continue the site, including the possibility of the site's being financially self-sufficient within a reasonable period of time; (6) the adequacy of facilities available to accommodate the health sciences and allied health care education program; (7) consistency with planning efforts of the office of rural health and the health care planning commission; (8) the amount and manner in which health care needs unique to West Virginia are addressed and will be addressed; (9) the degree to which state institutions of higher education cooperate in the health care education site; (10) the number of patients and patient encounters; (11) the number of existing health care providers in the area and the degree to which the rural health care facility will work with and impact on those health care providers; and (12) the level of networking among local health care providers serving the area.
(d) The vice chancellor shall select the primary health care education sites from the list of recommendations made by the advisory panel in accordance with section six of this article. The vice chancellor shall communicate his or her selection to the board of trustees for final approval by the board. The vice chancellor shall notify the advisory panel and the board of trustees regarding the extent to which the panel's recommendations were adopted by the vice chancellor and his or her reasons for rejecting any recommendations of the panel.
(e) The board of trustees may enter into a contractual relationship with each primary health care education site, which shall be in accordance with such laws as may apply to publicly funded partnerships with private, nonprofit entities and the provisions of section three, article five of this chapter.
(a) The primary health care education sites established under this article shall be supported financially in part from line item appropriations to the university of West Virginia health sciences account. Funds shall be distributed to the state’s schools of medicine upon consideration of the recommendations of the vice chancellor. Appropriations to the university of West Virginia health sciences account to support the rural health initiative shall be by line item, with at least one line item designated for primary health education program support at the schools of medicine and at least one line item designated for rural health initiative site support.
(b) The vice chancellor shall require each school of medicine to submit a detailed proposal which shall state, with specificity, how each school of medicine will be working to further the goals and meet the criteria set forth in this article and the amount of appropriation which would be needed by each school to implement the proposal.
The vice chancellor shall, giving consideration to the proposals, prepare a comprehensive plan to be presented to the board of trustees, which plan shall include a recommendation for allocations of moneys appropriated for program support and a recommendation for the allocation of moneys designated for support of the primary health care education sites commensurate with each school’s level of participation in such sites.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of §12-3-12 of this code, any funds appropriated to the Higher Education Policy Commission in accordance with the provisions of this section that remain unallocated or unexpended at the end of any fiscal year shall not expire, shall remain in the line item to which they were originally appropriated and shall be available in the next fiscal year to the board of trustees or a school of medicine for allocation or expenditure for the purposes of this article.
(d) Additional financial support shall come from fees generated by services, from grants and contracts, and from community resources. Any fees so generated shall be paid to and expended by the facility established as a primary health care education site unless an alternative fee arrangement is mutually agreed upon by the chief administrator of the site and the vice chancellor for health sciences.
(a) The vice chancellor, with the assistance of the advisory panel, shall report in detail to the board of trustees on the expenditure and planned expenditure of public funds to the schools of medicine under section eight of this article. The board of trustees shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates annually prior to December 1, as a part of the higher education report cards required by section eight-a, article one of this chapter.
(b) The vice chancellor, with the guidance and recommendations of the advisory panel, shall develop additional performance indicators, including, but not limited to: (1) An analysis of the health care needs of the targeted areas; (2) the number of persons served and the nature of the services provided; (3) the number of full-time and part-time faculty, students, interns and residents, by discipline, participating in the health science and allied health care education programs; (4) the number of health providers in each community served by primary health care education sites; (5) the financial, social and health status changes in each community served by primary health care education sites; and (6) the extent to which the plans and policies of the office of rural health and the health care planning commission are being effectuated. The vice chancellor shall provide information on the performance indicators to the board of trustees for inclusion in the higher education accountability report card for health sciences provided for in section eight-a, article one of this chapter.
(c) The advisory panel shall report at least annually to the joint Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability created under section eleven, article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and to the area health education centers subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance regarding the status of the rural health care initiative, paying particular attention to the role of the communities.
(d) The vice chancellor shall report at least annually to the joint Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability created under section eleven, article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and to the area health education centers subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance regarding the status of the rural health care initiative, paying particular attention to the role of the schools of medicine.
(e) The board of trustees shall facilitate a meeting at least quarterly for the chief administrators of each primary health care education site established pursuant to this article and each chief administrator at other rural health care facilities providing educational and clinical experiences to students, interns and residents at the state's schools of medicine. The meetings shall commence no later than July 1, 1992, and shall be for the purpose of discussing the status, efficiency and effectiveness of the various programs and their operation and recommending any changes to the board of trustees, which may include statutory recommendations to be made to the Legislature.
In addition to the reports otherwise required and commencing with a report for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1991, the chief administrators shall submit to the board of trustees an annual evaluation of the extent to which the goals set forth in section four of this article and other goals relating to collaborative efforts between the schools of medicine and rural health care facilities are being attained. Such report shall be forwarded annually in its entirety to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates no later than January 15, .
(f) The Legislative Auditor, at the direction of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, shall perform on an ongoing basis a fiscal audit of the medical education components within the university of West Virginia system, the state college system and the rural health initiative for periodic review by the Legislature.