Introduced Version House Bill 3182 History

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H. B. 3182


(By Delegates Varner, Ashley, Cann, L. Phillips,

 Hall, Kominar, White, M. Poling, Boggs and Smith)

[Introduced February 18, 2011; referred to the

Committee on Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18B-16-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the rural health initiative and ensuring a more thorough analysis of its future; requiring a rural health initiative study be performed; designating those who will perform the study; and requiring a report be made to the Legislature.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §18B-16-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, to read as follows:


§18B-16-4. Establishment of rural health initiative; goals of               rural health initiative.

    (a) 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) (1) The development of at least six primary health care education sites;

    (b) (2) 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) (3) The provision of training to all medical students under the direction of primary care physicians practicing in rural areas;

    (d) (4) The provision of admission preferences for qualified students entering primary care in needed specialties in underserved areas;

    (e) (5) 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) (6) The placement of mid-level providers in rural communities and the provision of support to the mid-level providers;

    (g) (7) The extension of rural hospital physician respite loan programs to rural primary health care clinics;

    (h) (8) The development of innovative programs which enhance student interest in rural health care opportunities;

    (i) (9) The increased placement of primary care physicians in underserved areas;

    (j) (10) The increased retention of obstetrical providers and the availability of prenatal care;

    (k) (11) The increased use of underserved areas of the state in the educational process;

    (l) (12) An increase in the number of support services provided to rural practitioners;

    (m) (13) An increase in the retention rate of graduates from West Virginia medical schools, nursing schools and allied health care education programs;

    (n) (14) The development of effective health promotion and disease prevention programs to enhance wellness; and

    (o) (15) 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.

    (b) (1) The state's three medical schools are each responsible for the curriculum of their students and meeting their needs. During the 2011-2012 interim period of the West Virginia Legislature, a study of the rural health initiative shall be performed to determine the most effective manner to provide rural health opportunities in the state, the impact of changing the infrastructure of the consortia, the impact on rural health services, the method of coordination of services between the schools and the communities, the rural health opportunities for mid-level practitioners, and other areas determined by the study participants.

    (2) The study participants shall include a representative of each of the medical schools, two representatives of the mid-level practitioner programs in the state, two representatives of the existing consortia, two providers of rural health rotations for the medical schools, and two individuals who have participated in the

rural health initiative and are current students or recent graduates.

    (3) The Higher Education Policy Commission shall staff the meetings, provide administrative support for the meetings and chair the meetings. A final report shall be provided to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resource Accountability by January 1, 2012 and shall include recommendations for consideration by the Legislature. No restructuring of the current system shall occur prior to the legislative review during the 2012 Legislative Session.

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require a rural health initiative study be performed. The bill designates those who will perform the study. The bill also requires a report be made to the Legislature.

    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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