WHEELING, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Interim Sessions for the month of November got underway on Sunday for members of the West Virginia Legislature. Sunday afternoon saw the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health come together to hear from West Virginia Association of Health Plans Executive Director, Ben Beakes.
Lawmakers were advised on Sunday of an increase in the number of Medicaid-approved beds available for drug treatment within the state. From July of 2019 to the present day, that figure has reportedly gone from 648 to 1,610. It was stated that health plan providers at this time wish to choose facilities which will be reimbursed based upon the care provided and the outcomes of patients who leave the facilities.
Director of Clinical Services for Orchard Park Hospital in Wheeling – John Antal, along with Orchard Park Hospital CEO Jacquelyn Knight spoke of inpatient acute psychiatric care provided to adolescents at the facility.
Since its opening in late September, Orchard Park has reportedly averaged around five youths per day at the facility, with up to eight at a time receiving treatment. The vital need to treat these young people early on to address mental issues was discussed by Antal and Knight. Those admitted are considered homicidal, suicidal, or capable of bringing harm to themselves or others.
Wheeling orthodontist, Dr. Dan Joseph implored lawmakers to provide assistance to those who opt not to receive care from an orthodontist and instead choose to utilize clear aligners with no professional consultation. Joseph insisted that such individuals would need at minimum one examination and X-ray session before implementing such treatments lest they incur significant dental issues in the feature.
Joseph additionally reported having seen teeth “pushed through the bone” along with other dental issues when describing the complications which can ensue from independent dental treatment. He explained that ideal orthodontic treatment entails the formulation of a diagnosis, measuring of a patient’s teeth, and working in tandem with a dentist. Lawmakers were urged to require an in-office exam for those seeking to use clear aligners.
Lawmakers did receive recognition from the orthodontist with regard to the offering of tele-dentistry and telemedicine, stating that great things have been accomplished for West Virginia residents through access to these resources.