Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205
02/22/2010 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES
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SB 168-TRAUMA CARE CENTERS/FUND 1:32:05 PM CHAIR DAVIS announced consideration of SB 168. 1:33:45 PM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL provided an overview of the committee substitute (CS) for SB 168. The CS contains language that points to the alcohol tax as a funding source to be used, not only to help fill the fund itself, but to help match federal disproportionate share money [Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment adjustment program]. The amendment to the CS removes the word "uncompensated" from the title and other parts of the CS. According to the state's Medicaid official, this will increase the state's flexibility in the use of disproportionate share money. Representative Coghill said he is comfortable with the amendment. 1:36:42 PM ROD BETIT, President, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Juneau, Alaska, testified in favor of the amendment to the committee substitute, which broadens the language in the bill to include more than uncompensated care. That is a key factor that has kept hospitals from moving to higher trauma designation levels. Broadening the use of those funds will allow the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to work through barriers to accomplish the purpose of this bill without compromising the use of disproportionate share funds. 1:38:01 PM WARD HURLBURT M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Department Of Health And Social Services, Division of Public Health, testified that, in his experience as a surgeon, alcohol is definitely associated with unintentional trauma in Alaska. 1:39:15 PM DR. REGINA CHENAULT, Chair, College of Surgeon's Committee on Alaska Trauma; member of the Violent Crimes Compensation Board and the Alaska State Trauma System Review Committee, Anchorage, Alaska, thanked the committee for recognizing the link between alcohol and trauma in the state. She said the violent crimes board tracked the association of drugs and alcohol to trauma for several years and found that it was a factor from 70 to 88 percent of the time. 1:40:33 PM CHAIR DAVIS closed public testimony. SENATOR PASKVAN moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) to SB 168, labeled 26-LS0799\R, as the working document of the committee. There being no objection, version R was before the committee. SENATOR PASKVAN provided an overview of Amendment 1 to draft version R. He said the purpose is to remove the word "uncompensated" throughout the bill, where it refers to trauma care. CHAIR DAVIS asked for a motion to adopt the amendment. SENATOR PASKVAN moved to adopt Amendment R.1 to CSSB 168. There being no objection, Amendment R.1 was adopted. SENATOR THOMAS read from page 2, line 14(d), which provides that "the commissioner may not provide more than 25 percent of the total assets, including earnings, of the fund in a fiscal year to one trauma center." He said 50 percent of that fund [Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment and Prevention Fund (ADTP)] is already dedicated for drug and alcohol related prevention and asked if the 25 percent refers to the entire amount, or the 50 percent that remains beyond the dedicated amount. TOM OBERMEYER said the statutory authority is found in AS 43.60.050. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said his understanding is that the amount of the tax available to the [trauma care] fund from the alcohol tax is a specified amount and the amount that can be appropriated from the fund is also limited, so there are two different limitations. The intent was that only so much of the alcohol tax would come into this fund. 1:45:50 PM SENATOR PASKVAN moved to report CSSB 168 as amended from the committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There being no objection, CSSB 168(HSS) moved from committee. 1:46:55 PM There being no further business to come before the committee, Chair Davis adjourned the meeting at 1:46 p.m.