About the West Virginia Health Care Authority
The Health Care Cost Review Authority (HCCRA) was created by the Legislature in 1983 as an autonomous agency within state government. The HCCRA became known as the West Virginia Health Care Authority (WVHCA) in 1997. The WVHCA’s mission is to collect information on health care costs, develop a system of cost control and ensure accessibility to appropriate acute care services.
The West Virginia Legislature during 2016 and 2017 passed legislation which resulted in significant changes to the agency. Those changes included the elimination of the salaried board of directors, elimination of rate review, elimination of the authority to fund rural health grants, as well as significant changes to the Certificate of Need Program. Additionally, the legislation eliminated the autonomy of the agency and placed it under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Resources. The funding for the agency (which comes from an assessment) was reduced by fifty percent. With the elimination of many functions of the WVHCA as well as the reduced funding, staffing at the agency was significantly reduced.
These functions remain after the passage of House Bills 2459 and 117, and Senate Bill 68, include:
Certificate of Need which helps to prevent the unnecessary duplication of reviewable services and to contain or reduce increases in the cost of de4livering reviewable services by determining, prior to the development of the service whether the service is needed in the service area.
Financial Disclosure which collects required financial documents from facilities including financial, operational and utilization information. Information is collected from hospitals, behavioral health centers, primary care centers, home health agencies, renal dialysis centers and ambulatory surgery centers. The collection of financial disclosure documents supports the CON program by providing necessary data. This data is also available to the public.
Clinical Analysis which collects health care data. This data collection function also supports the Certificate of Need program and allows the agency to engage in state-wide health planning.
The agency is now under the direction of the executive director who reports to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources. The Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, who serve part time and without compensation. The role of the board members is primarily decision-making and adjudicatory for Certificate of Need matters.
The agency continues to house and provide support to the West Virginia Health Information Network (WVHIN). The WVHIN is a public/private partnership offering services that enable the secure electronic exchange of patient care information among health care providers so that they can deliver high-quality medical care to their patients. The WVHIN is scheduled to become a non-profit agency by December 31, 2017.