The West Virginia State Medical Association (WVSMA) just learned that yesterday evening, at the eleventh hour, Governor Jim Justice vetoed SB442 , the Regulation of Prior Authorizations by insurance companies.

Of course, the medical community is not only confused, but deeply disturbed by this action. The bill passed both chambers of the legislature: House 98-0, Senate 34-0. No one at WVSMA, nor the lead sponsor, Senator Tom Takubo, DO was notified by the Governor’s office of the pending veto. “We are extremely disappointed for West Virginia patients and medical providers who are trying to provide the care that our patients need but are constantly hindered by cumbersome regulations and requirements imposed by insurance companies,” said Dr. Takubo upon hearing of the veto.

The costs associated with the prior authorization requirements before the amendments written into SB442 were countless hours of physician’s staff time and often resulted in patients being denied timely and necessary care. SB442 provides for electronically transmitted forms and establishes procedures for submission and acceptance of such forms as well as reasonable deadlines and transparency for prior authorization from insurance companies.

Brad Henry, MD said, “The West Virginia State Medical Association worked diligently to ensure that this bill would pass. There were no indications based on votes in both chambers that there were any problems with the bill. As a physician directly affected by this veto, and as your WVSMA President, I urge you to call the Governor’s Office and email him directly to voice your dismay at his veto. Our patients and our practices cannot tolerate the Prior Authorization regulations as they stand. We worked for improvements, we obtained them, and then all our hard work was discarded.”

When contacting the Governor’s Office, demand that any alleged deficiencies in the Prior Authorization bill be taken up and corrected at the next Special Session.

Governor’s Office:   304-558-2000

To email the Governor go to:
https://governor.wv.gov     and follow the link under “contact the Governor’s Office”
Governor’s Office:  304-558-2000

To email the Governor go to:
https://governor.wv.gov/ and follow the link under “contact the Governor’s Office”

MEDIA: FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR THE PRESS RELEASE
QUESTIONS? Contact: Danny Scalise
Executive Director
304.767.5434