The Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC), a standing Commission of the General Assembly, was established in 1992 to continue the work of the Commission on Health Care for All Virginians. The statutory authority for JCHC in Code of Virginia, Title 30, Chapter 18, states in part: “The purpose of the Commission is to study, report, and make recommendations on all areas of health care provision, regulation, insurance, liability, licensing, and delivery of services. In so doing, the Commission shall endeavor to ensure that the Commonwealth as provider, financier, and regulator adopts the most cost-effective and efficacious means of delivery of health care services so that the greatest number of Virginians receive quality health care. Further, the Commission shall encourage the development of uniform policies and services to ensure the availability of quality, affordable and accessible health services and provide a forum for continuing the review and study of programs and services." Moreover, as of July 1, 2003, JCHC assumed the responsibilities of the Joint Commission on Behavioral Health Care.
The Joint Commission completed studies; considered the comments of advocates, industry representatives, and other interested parties; and introduced legislation to advance the quality of health care, long-term care and behavioral health care in the Commonwealth. All 2007 meeting materials and presentations of the Joint Commission and its two Subcommittees are available on the Commission’s website, located at http://jchc.state.va.us.
Legislation Proposed for the 2008 General Assembly Session
The JCHC legislative package includes four bills and five budget amendments. The bills address such issues as requiring the Board of Health to develop a stroke triage plan (as part of Virginia’s emergency medical services plan); limiting the time for competency restoration treatment to 45 days for individuals charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor; and easing some employment restrictions to allow individuals with certain misdemeanor assault and battery convictions (related to their substance abuse or mental illness) to be considered for employment in adult substance abuse or mental health settings.