Senate Health Committee advances bill requiring substance misuse treatment facilities to provide discharged patients with ride home

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, on Tuesday, advanced SB 243, which would require substance use disorder inpatient-service providers to provide transportation for their patients. 

As explained by Senate Counsel Parker Zopp, “The introduced bill (sponsored by Sen. Michael Azinger, R-Wood) requires that residential substance abuse disorder facilities offer their patients – upon discharge – a means of transportation back to the individual’s state of birth, a state in which they have previously lived, or a state where they have a family support structure.”

Sen. Michael Azinger, R-Wood.

“There is a committee substitute,” Zopp added, explaining that the substitution corrects administrative mistakes in the original language of the bill. 

At the conclusion of Zopp’s presentation, Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, asked, “So we’re making certain that they (patients) have transportation available – who is funding it?”

“This bill does not address that at this time,” Zopp replied. “I believe there might be a bill later on that would address that.”

Committee Chair Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, confirmed Zopp’s statement, saying, “I can inform the committee that there is another bill coming, so to be continued.”

SB 243 will now be moved to the full Senate with the committee’s recommendation for passage. 

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