H. B. 2444
(By Delegates Campbell, Border, Perdue,
Webster and White)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization]
(March 10, 2009)
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §16-29J-1, §16-29J-2,
§16-29J-3, §16-29J-4 and §16-29J-5, all relating to the
creation of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Long-Term
Care, establishing membership, responsibilities, giving
subpoena power, and establishing reporting requirements.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-29J-1, §16-29J-2,
§16-29J-3, §16-29J-4 and §16-29J-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 29J. LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMISSION ON LONG-TERM CARE.
The Legislature finds that:
(1) West Virginia has the highest rate of disability in the
nation at 23%.
(2) 48% of senior citizens report having some type of disability.
(3) West Virginia is in a critical position to respond to the
growing elderly and disabled population in a timely manner to
prevent a crisis in availability of services and establish an
efficient, high quality system.
(4) There is a national movement to balance the long-term care
system so that citizens have a choice in whether they live theirs
lives in community-based programs or institutional programs.
(5) An efficient and effective long term care system supports
two goals of long-term care:
(A) To support people being able to live in their own homes
for as long as possible; and
(B) To enable people to return to community living after
institutional settings as soon as possible.
(6) It is of great importance that the array of services meets
the needs of the citizens and have a degree of flexibility that is
critical to meeting individual needs and desires.
(7) The Olmstead decision requires a state to administer
services, program and activities in the most integrated setting
appropriate to the needs of the individual. The Olmstead Plan in
West Virginia approved by executive order has some key elements
that include: Informed choice, elimination of institutional bias,
self direction which supports individuals making their own
decisions rather than having decisions imposed on them by funding
mechanisms or the delivery system, and quality.
(8) West Virginia has made substantial efforts to improve the long-term care system and has created new programs in recent years
to fill the gaps. Yet there continues to be inconsistencies
throughout the state in terms of availability of services, a lack
of flexibility to create programs around the recipients needs and
a lack of a seamless system of care.
As used in this article:
(a) "Agency" means the divisions, authorities, boards,
committees or commissions of the Department of Health and Human
Resources with authority to promulgate legislative rules pursuant
to this chapter that regulate health care providers, practitioners
or consumers; or those offering social services programs; and
(b) "Commission" means the Legislative Oversight Commission on
§16-29J-3. Creation of a Legislative Oversight Commission on
(a) There is created a joint commission of the Legislature
known as the Legislative Oversight Commission on Long-Term Care.
(b) The commission shall be composed of twelve members. Six
members from the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate
and six members from the House of Delegates appointed by the
Speaker of the House of Delegates.
(c) The President of Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Delegates shall each select the six members as follows:
(1) At least one member from the minority party;
(2) At least one member from the Committee on Health and Human
(3) At least one member from the Committee on Finance.
(d) The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of
Delegates shall be ex officio nonvoting members of the commission
and shall designate the co-chairpersons.
(e) The members shall serve until their successors have been
(f) The co-chairpersons may invite consultants who will assist
the commission and participate in their deliberations. These
consultants may include representatives from the following
agencies: The Bureau of Senior Services, the Department of Health
and Human Resources, the Olmstead Advisory Council, American
Association of Retired Persons, the Health Care Association, the
Alzheimer's Association, the Statewide Independent Living Council,
Workforce West Virginia, the Higher Education Policy Commission,
the West Virginia Directors of Senior and Community Services, the
Council for Community Technical College Education and others
identified by the co-chairpersons as consultants.
(g) Members of the commission are entitled to compensation and
expenses as provided in article two-a, chapter four of this code.
All expenses including those incurred in the employment of legal,
technical, investigative, clerical, stenographic, advisory and
other personnel shall be paid from an appropriation to be made
expressly for the Legislative Oversight Commission on Long-Term
Care: Provided, That if no such appropriation be made, such expenses shall be paid from the appropriation under "Fund No. 0175
for Joint Expenses" created pursuant to the provisions of said
chapter: Provided, however, That no expense of any kind payable
under the account for joint expenses shall be incurred unless first
approved by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
(h) The commission shall meet during the Legislature's interim
meetings or as often as may be necessary.
§16-29J-4. Powers and duties of commission.
(a) The commission shall:
(1) Make every effort to move the long-term care system to
permit older citizens to enjoy their later years in health, honor,
(2) Make every effort to move the long-term care system to
permit disabled citizens to live lives of maximum freedom and
(3) Investigate, study and review the practices, policies and
procedures of the long-term care system in this state;
(4) Investigate, study and review methods and strategies to
provide citizens with a balanced long-term care system that allows
people a choice between institutional and community-based supports;
(5) Review and monitor the implementation of Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead Plan;
(A) The funding that is available from the state and the
federal government and the federal requirements that have an impact
on decision making;
(B) The current gaps in services that exist in the system to
provide the full range of home and community based services;
(C) The extent to which the state is maximizing available
federal programs and moneys in providing health care services to
the citizens of this state;
(D) The operation of the programs and funds created by article
twenty-nine-c of this chapter;
(E) The roles of the public, private and private nonprofit
sectors in providing long-term care services in the state and the
barriers that exist in meeting the needs;
(F) Options for improving work conditions, pay, benefits,
training and advancement opportunities for the long term care
(G) The possibilities associated with a health information
technology infrastructure that would address the unique needs of
long term care users and providers, while ensuring the
interconnectedness of electronic information as well as consumer
(H) Pay for performance initiatives that have the potential to
develop cooperative efforts between public and private financing,
enhance an individual's choice about care options, to improve
quality of care, reward innovation and demonstrate fiscal
(I) The establishment of long-term care regulations with
strong enforcement provisions, incentives for quality care and
innovation, and an emphasis on patient outcomes;
(7) Consider the implications of balancing the long-term care
(8) Review the current Medicaid waiver programs including
their policies to determine their effectiveness in meeting the
needs of the citizens of the state;
(9) Review and study the implications of the increasing
percentage of elderly and disabled in the state and the impact on
(10) Review and study the feasibility and financial impact of
providing care to those who do not qualify for a waiver program but
have needs that, if met, would prevent the need for greater
services or nursing home care for a longer period of time;
(11) Conduct a study on the cost and effectiveness of using
various telecommunication systems to monitor those who are elderly
or disabled and the delay in needing more costly care in the
(12) Meet jointly with the agency directors and advocates to
discuss the various topics of interest to provide a well developed
and thoughtful series of recommendations.
(b) The commission shall make annual reports to the
Legislature regarding the results of all investigations, studies
§16-29J-5. Examination and subpoena powers; contempt proceedings.
(a) For purposes of carrying out its duties, the commission is
authorized to examine witnesses and to subpoena persons and books,
records, documents, papers or any other tangible things as it believes should be examined to make a complete investigation.
(b) All witnesses appearing before the commission under
subpoena shall testify under oath or affirmation. Any member of
the commission may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses.
(c) To compel the attendance of witnesses at hearings or the
production of any books, records, documents, papers or any other
tangible thing, the commission is authorized to issue subpoenas,
signed by one of the co-chairpersons, in accordance with section
five, article one, chapter four of this code. subpoenas shall be
served by any person authorized by law to serve and execute legal
process and service shall be made without charge. Witnesses
subpoenaed to attend hearings shall be allowed the same mileage and
per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury in this
(d) If any person subpoenaed to appear at any hearing shall
refuse to appear or to answer inquiries there propounded, or shall
fail or refuse to produce books, records, documents, papers or any
other tangible thing within his or her control when the same are
demanded, the commission shall report the facts to the circuit
court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent
jurisdiction and the court may compel obedience to the subpoena as
though the subpoena had been issued by the court in the first
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a Legislative
Oversight Commission on Long-Term Care that has responsibility for reviewing the long-term care system and making recommendations for
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would