HJ644: Indigent health care; JLARC to study.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 644
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 9, 2007
Directing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study indigent health care in the Commonwealth. Report.
Patron-- Purkey

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, indigent Virginians are among the most vulnerable populations in terms of access to affordable quality health care services; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that persons without access to affordable, quality health care services are less likely to receive medical services such as immunizations and routine check-ups, and, as a result, are more likely to develop conditions that could be prevented or more successfully treated with early intervention and primary care; and

WHEREAS, failure to prevent diseases and disorders, and to treat diseases and disorders in their early states leads to increased cost of treatment; and

WHEREAS, research indicates that indigent persons without access to affordable health care are more likely to rely on the Commonwealth's hospitals and emergency rooms for basic health care services and medical treatment; and

WHEREAS, the provision and financing of health care services for the indigent pose important and complex issues for businesses, health care service providers, and the Commonwealth's academic health centers as well as for the state and local governments; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission be directed to study indigent health care in the Commonwealth.

In conducting its study, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall (i) determine the volume of indigent health care provided by private, specialty and not-for-profit hospitals in the Commonwealth; (ii) determine the financial cost of indigent health care to private, specialty, and not-for-profit hospitals in the Commonwealth; and (iii) identify and analyze potential tax and other incentives that may be offered to private and specialty hospitals and other health care providers to encourage the provision of care to indigent individuals.

Technical assistance shall be provided to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission by the Joint Commission on Health Care and the Virginia Department of Health. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission for this study, upon request.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall complete its meetings for the first year by November 30, 2007, and for the second year by November 30, 2008, and the Director shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the next Regular Session of the General Assembly for each year. Each executive summary shall state whether JLARC intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summaries and reports shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.