West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R)

West Virginia nursing homes that have had to shell out more money to hire extra staff during the COVID-19 pandemic will be reimbursed under a new program just unveiled by the state.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R)

Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Monday announced the “Saving Our Care” initiative aimed at ensuring nursing homes and hospitals remain stable amid a surge of delta COVID-19 cases.

Providers through the program will be repaid for qualified, COVID-related expenses, including for efforts to increase workforce levels at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

The program will also provide staffing assistance and establish a 24/7 monitoring and communication system for all hospitals and long-term care facilities in the state. 

Officials plan to release additional details about qualifying reimbursements and programs in the near future.

“We’ve got the dollars available,” Justice said in a statement. “And if we get to the point where we have exhausted those dollars, we’ll surely call the Legislature back in and get approval to do even more.”

West Virginia has been praised for its nursing home response during the public health crisis. 

The state was among the first to complete COVID-19 vaccine clinics among long-term care facilities after successfully utilizing independent retail pharmacies and opting out of the federal program.

It was also one of the first states that pledged to continuously test nursing home residents and workers for COVID-19 during early pandemic months.