West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is the state’s largest agency with an essential mandate: protecting the health and well-being of our residents. In addition to leading the state’s public health infrastructure, the agency oversees health coverage for 584,000 residents and manages food assistance programs for 150,000 families and temporary cash assistance programs for 5,800 individuals. The DHHR also oversees the state’s child welfare system in a state with one of the highest percentages of out-of-home placements in the country.
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This report will analyze the DHHR’s budget and responsibilities for the fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022), primarily focusing on the functions and administration of the Medicaid program. West Virginia faces significant health needs, including an addiction epidemic, ongoing impacts of the pandemic, a stubbornly high poverty rate, and an aging population with high chronic disease rates among both the elderly and the non-elderly. As such, the state’s health agency is tasked with a broad mission and administration of many vital programs. State and federal investments in the DHHR impact health and the ability of residents to work, go to school, and thrive, as health has such a significant impact on other basic needs.