The Ken Ervin Health Maintenance Act (HB 2731), passed in 2013, allows trained personnel to perform tasks such as tube feedings and ostomy care in people’s homes. It is named after Ken Ervin, an ardent disability activist and Morgantown resident who died unexpectedly in 2007. At the bill signing for HB 2731, the Governor was given a ruby slipper pin as a reminder that for the disabled, just like everyone else, “there’s no place like home.” Delegate Fleischauer originally sponsored the bill to help two young men from North Central West Virginia who need ventilators to survive. They lost Medicaid coverage for nursing care when they turned 21. Their families valiantly tried to provide them with 24-hour care at home.
In 2014, Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor of HB 4287. This bill expanded the health maintenance tasks that could be provided in homes by trained personnel, supervised by licensed health care providers, to include ventilator and respirator patients. Now those families who lost nursing care after age 21 will have access to other trained personnel to assist with health maintenance tasks.