CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As a rural state, West Virginia will receive a major influx of dollars for preventative medical care under the new national health reform law, state primary care experts said Monday.
"This will prevent a lot of unnecessary hospital and emergency room bills," said Louise Reese, director of the West Virginia Primary Care Association.
An estimated 169,000 West Virginians get no regular primary care, she said, either because they cannot afford doctor visits or can't find affordable care in their communities.
West Virginia leads the nation in diabetes, heart attacks and angina, according to the state Bureau of Public Health. The state is second in strokes and certain forms of cancer.
"We are gearing up to expand affordable preventative care in underserved areas of the state," Reese said.
The new law: