In keeping with its statutory mandate, the Joint Commission completed studies, received reports and considered comments from public and private organizations, 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.
As authorized in approved work plans, the following presentations were made to the Joint Commission and its Subcommittees in 2012. The meeting presentations, documents, and minutes are posted on the Commission website ( http://jchc.virginia.gov).
Joint Commission on Health Care
The Joint Commission held four meetings in 2012. During the meeting in September, Secretary William A. Hazel, Jr. discussed Virginia's settlement agreement with the U. S. Department of Justice. Secretary Hazel listed the milestones that have been achieved as well as the remaining issues to be addressed in preparing the community-based system for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
During the meeting in October, Alfred D. Hinkle, Jr., President of the Board of Directors and Michael Lundberg of Virginia Health Information presented the organization's "2012 Annual Report and Strategic Plan."
Staff reports presented to the Joint Commission addressed the following topics:
• Health Care Compact
• Regulation of Surgical Assistants and Surgical Technologists
• Cost Sharing and Specialty Tier Pricing of Prescription Medications
• Opt-Out Program for Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation
• Rural Obstetrical Care in Virginia
• Interim Report: Fiscal Impact of Untreated Dental Disease
• Regulation of Naturopaths
Behavioral Health Care Subcommittee
Meetings of the Behavioral Health Care Subcommittee were held on June 28 and October 16. Inspection General Douglas Bevelacqua provided an overview of the work of the OIG for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
Commissioner James W. Stewart, III, discussed the challenges faced by the behavioral health care system, and the 11 priority needs identified in the "Creating Opportunities" strategic plan.
Richard J. Bonnie, L.L.B., reviewed the issue of increasing the maximum time period of temporary detention orders from 48 to 72 hours and recommended making the change in statute. Two staff reports were presented to the Subcommittee addressing:
• Mandatory Outpatient Treatment for Chronic Substance Abuse Disorder
• Potential Expansion of the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program
Healthy Living/Health Services Subcommittee
The Healthy Living/Health Services Subcommittee met twice during 2012; on June 6, and September 18. Presentations heard by the Subcommittee included:
• A discussion of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce's focus on health care by Bob Cramer.
• An update on the Virginia Health Information Exchange by Kimberly Barnes of VDH.
• A description of the University of Virginia's interprofessional health education between nursing and medical students by Dorrie K. Fontaine, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Valentina Brashers, MD, FACP, FNAP.
• An update regarding the work of the UVA Center for Telehealth by Karen Rheuban, M.D.
• An update, by State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, regarding collaborative efforts to address the challenges faced by the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
• A report by Robin Hills, with the VCU School of Nursing, on expedited partner therapy as an option in treating chlamydia and gonorrhea.
• An overview, by Beth Bortz, of the Virginia Center for Health Innovation which will be established as a nonprofit corporation governed by a Board of Directors.
• A presentation on the importance of providing respite services to support the family and friends who provide uncompensated care to their family members by Courtney Tierney, Director of the Prince William Area Agency on Aging.
Two staff reports were presented to the Health Living/Health Services Subcommittee:
• Why Is Respite Important for Caregivers?
• Fiscal Impact: Medicaid Eligibility and Uncompensated Asset Transfers