Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/27/2003 01:43 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 74                                                                                                             
     An Act extending the termination date of the Board of                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  NANCY  DAHLSTROM   noted  that  AS  08.64.010                                                                   
established the Board of Nurses,  whose members are appointed                                                                   
by  the Governor,  consist of  one  licensed practical  nurse                                                                   
currently  involved  in institutional  nursing  service,  one                                                                   
registered  nurse  engaged in  baccalaureate  nursing,  three                                                                   
registered nurses at large, and  two persons with no director                                                                   
financial interests  in the healthcare  industry.  HB  74, if                                                                   
enacted would extend the Board  operation for another 4 years                                                                   
to June 30, 2007.                                                                                                               
She explained  that the Board  serves the public  interest by                                                                   
establishing   minimum   education    and   work   experience                                                                   
requirements  that individuals must  meet to become  licensed                                                                   
nurses  or  certified  nursing  aides.    The  Board  further                                                                   
services  the  public interest  by  investigating  complaints                                                                   
against  licensed   professionals  and  taking   disciplinary                                                                   
licensing action when appropriate.                                                                                              
KIMBERLY  HANGER,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY  DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
stated  that in  accordance with  the  intent of  Title 24  &                                                                   
Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes,  the Division of Legislative                                                                   
Audit reviewed the activities  of the Board.  The conclusions                                                                   
resulting  from  that  audit  was  a  recommendation  for  an                                                                   
extension  of the Board.   She  referenced a letter  received                                                                   
from Catherine Reardon, previous  Director of the Division of                                                                   
Occupational  Licensing in  the Department  of Community  and                                                                   
Economic  Development,   which  endorses  the   findings  and                                                                   
recommends the extension.                                                                                                       
Ms. Hanger  pointed out Amendment #1.   (Copy on File).   The                                                                   
amendment would extend the Board through 2011.                                                                                  
Representative Hawker noted that  within the audit, there had                                                                   
been two recommendations:                                                                                                       
   ·    One involving procedures for notification of the                                                                        
        pharmacies; and                                                                                                         
   ·    One on the self-evaluation checklist.                                                                                   
He  inquired   what  the  Board  had  done   regarding  those                                                                   
Ms.    Hanger   explained    that    regarding   the    first                                                                   
recommendation, the  audit was correct  and that they  do not                                                                   
have a specific  procedure for the Board of  Pharmacies.  The                                                                   
Board of Nursing  met with Margaret Snowden,  Chair, Board of                                                                   
Pharmacy.   The  Board met  with her  and devised  a plan  to                                                                   
communicate with  that Board and currently, they  are keeping                                                                   
better records.                                                                                                                 
The  second concern  recommended  that the  Board of  Nursing                                                                   
develop  and implement  a self evaluation  checklist  for the                                                                   
organization  certified nursing  aid training  program.   Ms.                                                                   
Hanger  acknowledged that  was  an excellent  recommendation.                                                                   
The Board has implemented a procedure  for directing staff to                                                                   
develop a self-monitoring checklist.                                                                                            
Representative  Stoltze MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #1.   There                                                                   
being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                             
Co-Chair Harris  asked Ms. Davidson  about changing  the date                                                                   
and what savings that would provide the State.                                                                                  
PAT  DAVIDSON,  DIRECTOR-LEGISLATIVE   AUDITOR,  DIVISION  OF                                                                   
LEGISLATIVE  AUDIT, advised  that the  cost of sunset  audits                                                                   
can  range  anywhere  between  $8  to  $20  thousand  dollars                                                                   
depending upon  the sort  of issues that  come up  during the                                                                   
course of  an audit.  In terms  of the Medical Board  and the                                                                   
Nursing  Board,  the key  concerns  regard whether  they  are                                                                   
proactive with  legislation and  not relying upon  the sunset                                                                   
process  to bring  concerns forward.   She  noted that  it is                                                                   
important that  they are acting financially  appropriate when                                                                   
additional costs are incurred.                                                                                                  
Ms.  Davidson noted  that for  both the  boards, their  prior                                                                   
extension  was  eight years  and  because those  boards  have                                                                   
always  addressed their  key  concerns,  the Audit  Committee                                                                   
recommends the extension.  Boards  are required to cover some                                                                   
costs, however,  they do not  cover the costs  of legislative                                                                   
or audit time.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Harris  inquired if during the audit  reviews, there                                                                   
had been members that had complaints.                                                                                           
Ms.  Davidson  responded  that   there  were  no  significant                                                                   
complaints with regard  to the boards and that  membership of                                                                   
the   boards  have   to  bear   the   cost  associated   with                                                                   
Co-Chair Harris  asked what the  agreement was  regarding the                                                                   
$192  contractual  dollars.    Ms.  Davidson  responded  that                                                                   
typically  those are  legal costs  for investigations  and/or                                                                   
regulatory changes.                                                                                                             
NANCY SANDERS,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  CHAIR, BOARD                                                                   
OF NURSING,  ANCHORAGE, spoke in  support of HB 74  and urged                                                                   
passage of the legislation.  She  offered to answer questions                                                                   
of the Committee.                                                                                                               
MARY  WEYMILLER,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  MEMBER,                                                                   
BOARD  OF NURSING,  ANCHORAGE,  noted her  support and  urged                                                                   
passage of HB 74.                                                                                                               
RICK URION,  DIRECTOR OCCUPATIONAL  LICENSING, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
COMMUNITY AND  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, testified  in support of                                                                   
HB 74.  He noted that Board provides  a valuable service.  He                                                                   
urged passage  of the  bill so that  they can continue  their                                                                   
'good work'.                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Meyer  MOVED to  report  CS HB  74  (FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
CS  HB 74  (FIN) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  a  new  fiscal note  by  the                                                                   
Department of Community & Economic Development.                                                                                 

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