Published Online: Thursday, June 1, 2006

West Virginia Medicaid recipients who fail to take their medications on schedule risk losing access to some medical benefits, under a new state plan approved by federal regulators.

According to the plan, Medicaid patients will be required to enter into "personal responsibility contracts." They will pledge to remain in compliance with their medication therapy, to show up for medical appointments, to exercise, and to take other steps to improve their health. Those who do will receive credits in a "Healthy Rewards Account" that can be used to obtain optional health services.

Those who fail to take their prescribed medicines or otherwise violate their contract risk losing benefits for diabetes care, cardiac rehabilitation, or mental health treatment. Children and disabled Medicaid recipients, however, will not face any loss of benefits under the plan.

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