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Commonwealth's Counties

Joint Commission on Health Care Prepares for 2024 Work

The Joint Commission on Health Care met on May 22 to organize its work for the remainder of the year.  Delegate Rodney Willett was elected as the new Chair, and Senator Ghazala Hashmi was chosen as the new Vice-Chair.

Commission members previously planned for two major studies to be conducted this year:

  • Performance of health care workforce programs: Commission staff will develop a framework to measure the performance and effectiveness of health care workforce programs and consider policy options by which their performance may be improved.
  • Strategies to extend health care access to vulnerable populations: Commission staff will evaluate alternative models for delivering health care (such as community paramedicine, home visiting, mobile health clinics, telehealth, and community health workers); identify alternative models in peer states; and develop policy options for effective expansion of access to care for vulnerable populations.

Commission members will also receive briefings on several other topics that were requested by members last fall:  social determinants of health, services for individuals with traumatic brain injury in long-term care settings, and the impact of technology on children’s health.

Several additional items were referred to the Commission this year for potential action:

  • HJ 41 (Srinivasan), which was passed by the General Assembly during the 2024 session and directs the Commission to study policy solutions to the fentanyl crisis, to include policy recommendations to reduce the prevalence of fentanyl and the number of fentanyl overdoses.
  • HB 1322 (Sickles) and SB 33 (Locke), which were continued to 2025 and referred to the Commission by letter. These bills deal with the supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists; expected study goals would include documenting the existing anesthesia provider workforce, as well as supervision and regulatory requirements in other states and their effects on the workforce and patient outcomes.
  • HJ 60 (Hayes), which was continued to 2025 and referred to the Commission by letter. This resolution would direct the Commission to study sickle cell disease in the Commonwealth, to include the availability of health care and support services and sufficiency of data collection, and current state funding and programs focused on the disease, among other aspects, and make recommendations for improvements.
  • The issue of Medicaid program eligibility criteria and Medicaid “benefit cliffs,” which was referred to the Joint Commission on Health Care via letter from the Virginia Disability Commission. Preliminary study objectives would include determining the extent to which individuals move between eligibility categories and identifying strategies to reduce the impact of these transitions, as well as reducing the administrative burden of eligibility determinations.

The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for June 11, at which time members will decide how to address the newly-referred study topics.

VACo Contact:  Katie Boyle

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