Prompted by contacts from students as well as officials with Well WVU, Delegate Fleischauer introduced legislation in 2014 (HB 4189) and 2015 (HB 2045) relating to providing amnesty for persons who call 911 to prevent a death from an alcohol or drug overdose. After extensive work in the House and Senate Health and Human Resources committees during interim and regular sessions, the Governor introduced legislation which ultimately passed, SB 523.
West Virginia has had the highest opioid drug overdose rate in the country and the House's Health and Human Resources Committee, on which Delegate Fleischauer has served as Vice Chair and Minority Chair, has been working diligently to produce legislation that would increase access to nalaxone, a medication which can reverse the effect of an overdose. She sponsored bills in 2014 (HB 4161) and 2015 (HB 2044), but these proposals were revamped by the Governor and passed in 2015 as SB 335.
Passed in 2014, HB 4318 requires continuing education for a diverse group of health care providers on issues that are common to veterans, including depression, PTSD, suicide and grief. Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor and developed the legislation as Co-Chair of the Interim Committee on Veterans. The listed professionals are now required to be trained to ask whether patients are veterans or related to veterans, and to receive training on how to screen all patients for depression, PTSD, suicide and grief.
The 2015 West Virginia Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable Act, HB 2001 ensures that patients can appoint a person they trust to be informed about the care they need upon discharge from a hospital, nursing home or other health care facility. Health care facilities are now required to record the name of a caregiver chosen by the patient, inform the caregiver when the patient is going to be discharged and educate the caregiver about the tasks that need to be performed in the home, such as medicine administration or wound care, so that the patient can recover. Delegate Fleischaeur was a co-sponsor.
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.
In 2011 (HB 2693) and 2012 (HB 4260), Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor of autism legislation that increased funding and insurance coverage for children with autism spectrum disorder. Six million dollars was added to the state budget to cover increased costs in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Public Employees Insurance (PEIA). These programs and most private insurance companies operating in West Virginia are now required to provide coverage for behavioral therapy - up to $30,000 per year for the first three years, and up to $24,000 thereafter. This coverage is available under these insurance plans to children with autism from the date of diagnosis to age 18, so long as a physician certifies that the treatment is medically necessary. With intensive early treatment, most children with autism can become productive members of society. This was a huge heart-warming win for children and families.